Tuesday, May 6, 2008

To-Do List - Paper Towels - Again

Still trying to break that habit. I've gotten better, really I swear. First, I bought the recycled version. (not as strong, somewhat wimpy and thin!) Now, I am trying to use less than a hu-mungo handful to wipe up the doggie drool, or the kiddie drool, whatever. So, in the spirit of using less, I bought two dishtowels while at the Green Street Fair from the nice little coalition Handmade Detroit. Basically, it's a nice mish-mosh of crafters who work together and shared some space at the fair selling their handmade goodies. I managed not to buy a purse, belt, scarf or any other fashion item, but for $7 found a nice two-pack of flour sack towels embellished with scrap fabrics. Cute, and the red stripe goes with my kitchen, 'cause you know that's important!

So, I have been trying to dry my hands or the occasional splash of water with the towel instead of the paper. I still can't force myself to clean food-goo or doggie drool with it. Yuck, ick, ugh. Now I wish I would have bought another two-pack because I feel that the towel really needs to be washed every other day. At least. Maybe more. Can you say germ-phobic anyone? So, I did a quick look on Etsy and found nutnutgoods - she has some cute organic flour sack towels printed with food grade inks... Mother's Day is right around the corner, maybe I will get lucky?

11 comments:

organicneedle said...

I have the same cleaning issues. Sponges with the tiniest bit of mildew skeeve me and get tossed. I tried the recycled route too and found the 7th Generation towels worthless. Not sure why a recycled towel can't be made better, but... One way around my skeeve issue is that I have sponges or towels assigned to different things. Like baking towels only clean up baking messes. The table sponge only cleans the table...meaning no raw foods get near it and I can use method on it because it doesn't touch any dishes. The towel on the oven is only for drying wet hands or grabbing a hot plate. Things like fish, chicken, or bathroom messes get the disposable. I have found that this has cut my paper towel use down dramatically.

MamaBird said...

Also? Just to give you perspective? I bet I have 40 towels in my kitchen. I don't use paper much at all any more, I have a rag bag under my sink for the truly yucky stuff (we have a dog too and drool is the least of my worries!). I also find it useful to keep a mesh laundry bag (it's little, like a tote bag and fits perfectly on my back door handle) in the kitchen so I can toss the yucky ones in there pronto. I wash the bag right along with the cloths, and they go right in with our other laundry (on cold, no prob). I heart your cute towels tho!

eco 'burban mom said...

Organicneedle - thanks for the idea of assigning different uses to my towels, but how on earth do you keep them straight? Different colors maybe? And, blech - the recycled towels are worthless, I agree... Now I just need a crop of towels - all in different colors!

Mamabird - 40 towels! Oh my! But, I love the mesh bag idea and my hubby just saved me one that came to us free wrapped around a new piece of baseball equipment - I can use that under my sink! Also - I was totally being nice about the doggie drool... The messes are usually worse. Literally about 30 minutes ago I cleaned doggie yack off the kitchen floor - with a paper towel! Darn puppy swallowed an ice cube whole and proceeded to yack it up with his lunch. UGH!

Lish Dorset, crafter said...

Hey there! I'm Lish, the Handmade Detroit towel girl. I'm so glad you liked them and that you stopped by the tent!

Love your green goals. I'm trying the same, myself. I just picked up some organic cat food- we'll see if the princess likes it ;)

Blue Collar Crunch said...

I circumvent the ick factor with a few kitchen towels and my giant stash of worn-out-sock rags. The rags get used once, hung to dry if they're wet, then tossed in the wash with the towels. It really doesn't seem to create more laundry; not sure how that works, but it's true.

For the rare extreme mess that I don't really want in my laundry (dog puke or similar), I just toss the rag. I figure at that point it's had two previous lives already, one as a sock and one as a rag, so I don't feel too guilty.

eco 'burban mom said...

Hi Lish! Let me know where Handmade Detroit will be participating in art fairs this summer! I would love some more towels and would of course put a blurb about handmade detroit on the blog!

Good luck with princess and the organic food - I hope you fair better than I have been trying to feed my kids the organic cereal! They're pretty sure that squirrels and chimpunks eat the same food! :o)

eco 'burban mom said...

BC - that sock idea might just be right up my alley... I have 4 boys and a husband that constantly have holey socks!! We save them for car washing and dusting - so DUH! Why not counter wiping?!? :o)

Green Bean said...

It takes time, really. I started trying to give up paper towels nearly a year ago. I think I, like MamaBird, have about 30 towels and a basket of rags. I have kept the paper towels around for really gross stuff but just find myself using them less and less. I gradually went from a roll every couple weeks to every month to, gosh, I can't remember the last time I used one. Once this roll is gone, I think I'm ready to give them up for good. It really is a gradual transition so don't beat yourself up! You are doing awesome.

Oh, and it REALLY is important how cute your towels are! In case you haven't noticed, I have a big problem with the idea that living green means wearing Birkenstocks and drab, grungy clothes.

eco 'burban mom said...

Thanks, GB! I totally agree, I am not wearing yuck, ick clothing or choosing drab, boring towels. The ones I found over the weekend are so cute, and locally made. I am hoping to connect again with Handmade Detroit to score some more!

I really appreciate you reminding me that being green doesn't mean being boring or drab!! I like to pride myself that even though I am the mom of 4 boys, I still leave the house looking somewhat cute every day! And, that going green takes some time. I seriously just can't break this habit! I get so grossed out by germs... :o)

Going Crunchy said...

I just have a ton of washclothes that I use. Buy the bulk 10 pack and keep a drawyer full- - they go far!

cindy24 said...

I use kitchen towels and old rags. I probably go through 2 a day and then just throw them in the wash. With 4 kids, 3 dogs and 2 cats I have lots to wipe up after. I use them for all messes. I do have some paper towels that get used by cleaning lady and an occasional "that is just too sick to pick up with atowel". I use the Seventh Generation and purchased them in bulk. Probably use less than one per month now.