How to Go Paperless--Paper Towel Edition

>> Monday, March 15, 2010

Okay you guys. Don't freak out. Going "Paperless" does not mean going without paper products of any kind.

That would be massive silliness. We only support small amounts of silliness at a time here at The Diet Coke Diet.

So, since I'm the Bob to your Larry (if you get that reference, you are AWESOME), I am here to talk about using LESS paper not NO paper. (I'm not sure if the grammar in that sentence is correct.)

Now, there is so much paper-waste in this country it is ghastly. 40% of the solid waste in landfills is paper and paper goods . That is a huge amount. Now, do not lecture me about trees being a renewable resource. I KNOW. That is less the point than the filling our landfills with paper. I am a wee bit on the granola-crunchy side of things, so I support efforts to lower waste. I have guilt when I throw things away. I recycle. I like love the earth, Dude.

So, combine a tree-hugging hobby with serious amounts of NO money, and enter: MORGAN'S PAPERLESS QUEST!

It all started four years ago when I had Henry. And I am continuing to streamline my efforts.

Today, we are going PAPERLESS by undoing our addictions to PAPER TOWELS!

Oh, paper towels. How we LOVE THEM! They are quick, absorbent and on a roll. A ROLL for crying out loud. What's not to love?

Well. Nothing, except that there are ways to cut down on them, or eliminate them entirely.



Calm down. It's okay. The small amount of laundry that will be added to your weekly tally will be nearly unnoticeable.

So, go to the store, Target, or Walmart, or wherever, and buy a dozen or so washcloths. They even come in very cheap packs of 12 (or maybe 10, what do I know?) They do NOT cost a lot. DO NOT buy the fancy bathroom washcloths that are all thick and soft and spongy. NO! They need to be the super cheap ones that are a bit scratchy and are all bundled in a piece of paper. Do you know what I'm referring to? CHEAP!

 Some people (my mother) feel strongly that kitchen dish rags are different than wash cloths. They are. Dish rags suck and washcloths are quite helpful. Do not waste money on dish rags, they absorb nothing. NOTHING, I say.

Woah, I got a little excited there. I always get worked up when my opinion differs from my mother's. It's like going against nature.

So, now, when babies' faces are messy, instead of a paper towel, reach for a washcloth.


And I absolutely do not approve of using paper towels as napkins. NO! That is forbidden. I mean it. We'll talk about napkins another day. I don't want to overwhelm you.

Keep your washcloths in the cupboard under the sink or in a drawer. If you're seriously short on space, get a cute little basket, and keep them on the counter top. (Oh, that would be SO cute!)

I usually use TWO in the kitchen at once. A KITCHEN cloth and a PERSON cloth. It's easy, just hang the PERSON cloth on the back of the high chair.

The PERSON cloth is for baby faces, or sticky fingers. The KITCHEN cloth is for a counter-top, table or floor issue. The twain should NEVER meet.

I do NOT agree with gross, slimy and smelly cloths. EW EW EW. So, if you're skeeved out like I am, use a new one every day. Okay, even if you're NOT skeeved out, use a new one every single day. It's ONE or TWO a day. It's a TINY amount of laundry.

In fact, it's totally okay if you use MORE than one a day, you're still not using paper towels.

All you need to do it hang it to dry on the oven door, or if you have a little hanging bar in your cupboard, somewhere so it can lay flat and dry, do NOT leave it all bunchy in the sink. The cloth will smell sumfin' awful in just a couple of hours. EW!

Seriously. It does not have to be a pain in the tushie to NOT buy paper towels. I haven't purchased a single roll in three years. I do not miss them.

So, your challenge? This week, NO MORE PAPER TOWELS.

Go spend $2 on washcloths and free yourself. You'll be FREE I tell you. FREEEEEEE!!!!


mabills March 16, 2010 at 6:34 AM  

I'm with ya, Morgan! Just don't ask me to give up toilet PAPER!
Aunt M.A.

Morgan -Ing March 16, 2010 at 9:00 AM  

Bwahhahah! I will, someday go into detail about a nutty idea called, "family cloth" which replaces TP, but I do NOT support it. :)

Amber C March 16, 2010 at 5:15 PM  

I started going paperless last year. I get my bills via e-mail and have reduced our paper towel usage to where I do buy some, but only buy about 4-5 rolls a year of them.
Such a great idea!

Chelsea March 16, 2010 at 5:18 PM  

I just solved the, "Crap, I ruined our bathroom washcloths with mascara stains" issue at our house after reading this.

I'm going to use the washcloths currently in our bathroom to replace the paper towels, and do a really good job of keeping some new washcloths looking new in the bathroom.

Great job, Morgan. You're quite persuasive.

TJDKG March 17, 2010 at 11:35 AM  

Will you talk about the Diva too?

Morgan -Ing March 17, 2010 at 1:29 PM  

Jauna- shh. You're going to scare everyone away! You just wait. There will be a diva post, in honor of YOU!

Alisa and Jared March 17, 2010 at 6:17 PM  

Ooh...good idea. Thanks for the convincing...I hate wasting so many paper towels. Heck...if I can live without ziplocks...I can live without paper towels!

Chelsea April 28, 2010 at 4:30 PM  

#1. I just found this post again now that I want to actually go paper towel-less and may still be confused on which cloth you think works best. I'd rather not get the wrong thing and have it work out poorly.

#2. If you do the Diva post, you should look into the following links:

mostly to talk about sponges.

Morgan -Ing April 29, 2010 at 7:59 AM  

Chels- the cloths that are best are the cheapo ones at walmart that have like 10 or 12 all bundled together. They are usually on an end of the bathroom aisles all by themselves. Not thick, not super soft, not pretty in the slightest. Just scratchy old terry cloth. :)

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