Our Earth Day Challenge
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Breaking a lifetime of habits isn’t always easy and this we have found true with breaking the habit of using paper towels.
Our mothers came from the era of all of these wonderful inventions that would make life more convenient: Paper towels, microwavable meals, dishwashers, processed foods, dryers, dryer sheets, etc.
Of course, no one ever explained what impact these things would have on the environment, if not our health.
While I’ve been able to make huge changes in our habits that help us diminish our footprint in other areas, cutting out the paper towels completely has not been one of them.
We have cut them back, using more towels when we would previously have grabbed a paper towel, but not as much as I would like, especially given the price is continually going up.
For the past few months, we’ve seen paper towels, like many other things, increase dramatically in price and as I told Dale, it is not only not a good thing environmentally, it is like wadding up cash and throwing it into the trash.
So, this week, we decided to make a commitment to reduce our usage of paper towels, in honor of Earth Day, which falls on April 22.
In coming up with a plan to reduce our paper towel use, I thought of putting a tablet next to the roll and marking each time we use one.
Knowing Dale would probably not do this, I just asked him to mentally be aware of each time we use a paper towel and I came up with ways to reduce usage, including:
- Using only half of a half (we use the select a sheet) for napkins, unless it is a messy dinner (tacos) until I can get enough cloth napkins purchased for reuse.
- Dale still uses them to dry dishes after they’re washed. He’s committed to using cloth towels from the drawer (he has sort of a phobia about hairs and lent from dish towels, so I got some non-lent producing towels).
- Using a reusable sponge or washcloth to wipe down the counters.
These are just some of the ideas I’ve come up with. I hope to reduce our consumption of paper towels by half.
What is it you would like to do better to help the environment. Will you be challenging yourself for Earth Day this month?