As things are slowing down just a bit here it’s nice to have an easier challenge this week for Change the World Wednesday with Reduce Footprints. This week we return to paper, paper towels to be specific.
I have been trying to recall the last time I had paper towels in my home. I believe it was some time in 2003. But wait, there is more to this challenge than just paper towels.
The rag pile gets lots of use here. I use it for general cleaning, dusting, and even as a replacement for the grandchildren when they need something to wipe their noses. Want to convince a child to give up paper tissues? Wait until they have a cold and are suffering from a sensitive nose. Then hand them a scrap of an old t-shirt and tell them this won’t make their nose hurt. Works every time for me. :-)
Napkins are easy to get children to use as well. I picked up a large bag of scrap fabric from a local thrift shop and made over 100 cloth napkins, the children enjoy picking the fabric they want to use for that meal, it feels special to them. My daughter-in-law held a gathering of more than 25 people just a few weeks ago and by having more than 50 of the cloth napkins from my stash was able to avoid purchasing paper ones. My son was the first to tell me how great it was for the gathering to have the napkins, his wife then followed up by sharing that her guests were impressed to receive cloth napkins. Maybe one or two of them will replace their paper napkins as a result. I can only hope.
How to eliminate other paper. I’ve touched on this in the past and am still working on this. I have no printer, fax or scanner. Apps on my phone have replaced a paper calendar and needing paper for notes. Fabric bags and pieces of cloth have made a lovely way to completely eliminate gift wrap. Canceling all subscriptions and paying my one bill early allows me to have minimal mail. I’ve called companies who have sent me junk mail and had that stopped as well. My mail now amounts to 2-3 pieces per month.
Toilet paper is one area I have not found a replacement for that will suffice when having visitors, but I lessen the impact by purchasing 100% post consumer recycled paper by the case with no plastic wrappers. Yes, this gets mailed to me but lasts more than a year before I need to reorder.
I am finishing up a project which will reduce the need for one paper product. The main sources of paper in my home are coloring books for the grandchildren. I had hoped to show you the finished project today, but unfortunately had to order one item which will arrive at the store this afternoon. This one thing will not eliminate the need to have coloring books on hand, as one is an artist, but will reduce how often new books need to be purchased.
Stay Tuned tomorrow for the completed project.