Sunday, January 23, 2011

Paper-less Towels

I was talking to my friend Kristie on the phone the other day (hi! *waves at Kristie*) and it was so wonderful.  I love friends who call, because I'm such a hermit that, even when I think about picking up the phone and calling all the time, I just can't bring myself to do it.  But then, somebody calls me, or like I randomly phoned my friend Kate the other day, and it's so much fun to chat and catch up.  And then I always think, you know, what the hell is wrong with me?  Thank you friends, who accept me for how I am, and somehow don't hold that against me.

Anyway, one of the things that came up was the idea of cutting back (or making more responsible choices, at any rate) and she was asking about saving money on paper products and I am happy to report that one area that saves money and feels good, is in saying goodbye to paper products.

I used to buy and use a dozen rolls of paper towels every month, but now we use about two rolls during the same time period.   And look, it definitely falls under the "little things add up" column of things, I won't lie to you.  It sounds so silly to say, "I used to spend $12 on paper towels, and now I only spend $2 on paper towels."  But then over a year, you've saved $120 and that buys a lot of wine.  Just saying.

I live with a cat, a puppy, two young boys, and a man-child... we need paper towels.  But instead of using them, I've taken to cutting up old t-shirts and having an ever-ready, ever-growing, stash of scrap materials has been a real lifesaver.  Here's a stack I just made for my mom, using the leftover materials from the t-shirts I used when I made the blanket for Marie

And here's my collection.  I keep them in this basket on the counter, so they are as convenient and easy to grab as the paper towels sitting next to them.   Still, no matter how convenient I make the cloths, Erik seems to always grab for the paper towels. I bet if I just stopped buying paper towels altogether, he'd use the cloths more often, except I'm almost certain that the whole time, he'd be thinking, "Man, I wish I had a paper towel for this."   This falls under the category of "marriage maintenance" in my house... as in, I'm not going to go pecking at his neck about something this (ultimately) trivial. I'd rather he use cloths.  He goes for the paper.  We'll live.
They're so small, I just toss them in the washer with whatever load needs to be done; they don't take up hardly any room at all.  And when they're really good and gone, they just get tossed into the composting. 
If you're not already using this system, I highly recommend it!