Sunday, June 1, 2008

Challenging an addiction

I decided that I have an addiction. Not drugs, alcohol, TV, food, cigarettes. Nope, it's worse than that. I have been trying to get off the paper towels for months now and it's real, real hard. ACK! Doggie barf, where's the paper towels? What, we don't have any? Then I get the shakes and sweats and stuff. Clean dog vomit with a real, actual towel? Well, then what do I do with the towel? ICK, you mean I put it in the washing machine with my clothes? OMG!

So, when Chile decided to host a challenge ridding us of our addictions, I thought this might be the time. See, this is just one last thing that I think I needed help getting over. It's more of a habit, mindset and germ-phobic issue than a need for the towels. And, I really believe that ridding myself of this habit will free me of the constant need to run to the store for "one thing I forgot". I have too many kids, dogs and things to do to be running to the store to buy paper!

Today, I am beating down on this addiction - Zero paper towels used on day 1 of the challenge! And, I wiped up doggie drool, mopped the entire house, cleaned the bathroom and a variety of other household chores that would have had me dragging along an ever-shrinking roll of towels. I have about half of a roll left, and I am hoping that it will last me a long, long time. Ending my addiction, one doggie drool puddle at a time!


Debbie said...

Yay! You can do it! I started using cloth rags and knitted dishcloths about a year and a half ago, when I had about one-quarter of a roll of paper towels left. Just a few weeks ago I bought one roll (really sick dog -- he's fine now).

That's it, less than one half a roll used in all that time, and I still have plenty for future emergencies.

If you're reusing cloths and rags, good for you, but if you find you need to buy some I highly recommend microfiber cloths. I bought mine in the auto section at K-mart or Target, where they are much cheaper than if you buy them in the cleaning section. They do an amazing job at cleaning.

Chile said...

An alternative way to deal with doggie drool might be to install a doggie drool bucket. You know, like the feed buckets on horses? Then all you'd have to do is empty the bucket nightly. ;-)

eco 'burban mom said...

No, Chile! Greywater, greywater! I could totally empty the bucket on the trees I planted. The extra doggie kibble bits could be a great fertilizer! :o)

La Vida Local said...

You know what? I used cloth diapers for my twins (not some yucky service that bleached them, but washing them myself), and it may sound really gross, but I rinsed out the "dirties", if you know what I mean, in the TOILET! Many studies have shown that our toilet bowls are often less germy than our kitchen sinks! It's more of a mental thing to get over. :) I must admit, it's not very sexy, but it's easier on the washing machine! And while we're talking washing machine, I love my Fisher-Paykel washer that uses far fewer parts than a machine with belts, propelling the spin cycle with magnets. Gets the clothes almost dry, it spins so fast on much less energy! I now can use my drier on the delicate setting to dry allllll my clothes with no problems. This washer also has a soak cycle, great for throwing some Oxyclean or similar in with your dingy whites, or for over stained doggy drool towels!!!! :)

Cathy said...

That's great. I'm able to get recycled paper towels at Costco. My biggest dependence is disposable wipes--I'm working through my stash and then will switch to rags I can rewash.

Admire the local food effort!!

Gypsy said...

Animals do make life harder for this stuff don't they! Going 'paper towel free' is a mision around here too. Paper towels and tissues are on my list of things to tackle - I figure I'll put a nice box of hankies in the various spots we have tissues! They are just a habit these paper products!

klara said...

ugh i have the same addiction. i have to admit although i bought some reusable sponge cloths at whole foods, which are great by the way, that i still buy paper towel rolls. i don't use them at much but every once in a while....gonna try nixing them all together. great blog. just wanted to let you know i uploaded your post to to (like Digg but centered around
sustainability). It's a great resource and I'm trying to spread the word about it. Please check it out if you can!