How many paper products do you use in your home? Napkins? Paper towels? Toilet paper? Printer paper? It can really add up. Not only does it add up to environmental waste, it adds up financially. Over the course of the past few years, I’ve unknowingly phased out some of these paper culprits. Read more to find out how!
These may seem handy to clean up messes in a pinch or even to use while cooking. I actually used some in a DIY post from this past summer. Click here to read that post. I can tell you right now that I don’t remember the last time I bought paper towels. Although, it must have been at least before last fall. It’s easy to rely on paper towels, but the truth is that there are a lot of other options. These options won’t eat away at your grocery budget!
- Cloth rags. I’ve been using cloth rags to clean with for the past year and a half. It’s true there are some messes you really don’t want to use anything reusable for (like bodily fluids). However, I haven’t had much trouble with that these past few months. I’ve been meaning to keep a roll under the sink just to clean up after my dog (vomit, other gross liquids). But the truth is, I haven’t needed any yet. I use them for everything from cleaning my stove to my bathroom mirror. Try cutting up an old shirt if you don’t have any.
- Towels. It can be really tempting to clean up spills with paper towels. But, how many times have you used a whole roll to soak up a mess? I know I’ve done it a few times. That’s why I now have a few towels designated for only cleaning. If the spill is something I don’t want to mix with my wash, I simply soak it in detergent in the sink first.
- Cloth Napkins. These are SO GREAT! I’ve been using cloth napkins for a couple of years now. I absolutely love them! They’re great for so many things. Above all though, they’re perfect to use instead of a disposable napkin. It’s become second nature for me to grab a cloth napkin out of the basket whenever I prepare a meal. I even pack them in my lunch for work. Cloth napkins are something that I just can’t advocate enough. They are prettier than the disposable ones and I just throw them in my dirty laundry when needed. I also like to think they add a little class to my home. 😉
- Place-mats. I’ve used place-mats for a couple of years now. Although, in a recent redecoration I decided to use my kitchen table for crafting instead. You may judge me, but MMR and I eat all our meals at the computer or on the couch anyway. So, we hardly used the place-mats. However, in the past few years they’ve been great at preventing messes. They protect your table from food and I usually throw mine in the wash once a week. Instead of needing a bunch of napkins to clean up any mess, just use a place-mat to start with. Of course I’m talking about cloth or other reusable ones. 🙂
- This is a big one that a lot of people are trying nowadays. I have all of my bills sent to me electronically. It’s better for the environment and my peace of mind. I just save the emails to a folder in my account. That way I don’t have all of the papers floating around my apartment.
I do still use some paper products at home: tissues, toilet paper, printer paper. But, being paperless doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t use any paper. I personally don’t know anyone that doesn’t use toilet paper. The important thing is to make an effort to reduce paper waste. This is great for keeping your home clutter-free and it’s fantastic for the environment. So, why not give it a try? Go to a thrift store and grab some place-mats and napkins (I got all of mine on clearance, as hand me downs, or at yard sales). Check the websites for companies that bill you and see if they have an electronic option. It will only take a moment and it’ll benefit you for a very long time.
How do you reduce your paper waste?