Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I'm cheating on my rags...with paper towels

So in the past year, I have strived to be green for multiple reasons. Of course, the obvious is to do my part in saving the planet, and I also want to teach my son about recycling and being a better citizen of this world. So we've made lots of changes: we compost, buy cleaners and detergents that don't pollute the environment, take reusable bags to the grocery store, ride our bikes, store food in glass containers, buy biodegradable trash bags, etc. But the biggest change was eliminating paper towels and paper napkins. It's hard. I bought a whole bunch of plain rags and microfiber dishtowels from Costco and bought a whole bunch of cloth napkins from Target. Certain rags are meant to be used for cleaning; others are meant for dishes and just a quick wipe of the countertops. But, of course, sometimes what they are "meant" for does not matter because when a rag is needed, we grab the first one we can find. There are a lot of logistical issues that come with rags that I have yet to perfect. For example, where do I put soiled rags? And where do I put those rags that clean up after my son's potty training "accidents"? And should I wash all rags in a separate load or can I wash them with the cloth napkins and other laundry? Would washing them separately defeat their "green" purpose because it adds another load of laundry? I don't have the answers to all these questions but I put my cloth napkins in a mesh bag; rags used to clean up potty training accidents go into a separate plastic bag; rags used to clean up just get piled on top of my washing machine; and, yes, I clean the rags in a separate load of laundry, not to be mixed in with clothes and bath towels. But I never feel organized about this, and I feel like there should be some organizational devices out there to assist in this process. I'm still searching...

But that is not really what this blog post is about. My mom, frustrated by my decision to eliminate paper towels, brought over 5 rolls last week. I told her to take them back but, alas, she left them at my house. At first, my son thought it was the greatest new toy (seriously, I don't know why I spend so much on fancy wooden empty box and some paper towels are all he needs). And then, something spilled in the kitchen and instead of grabbing a rag, my husband (who I know is secretly SO happy for the paper towels) opened one paper towel roll and cleaned up the mess. And then yesterday, I cleaned up another mess with a paper towel. And this morning I used another paper towel to clean my counters. Notwithstanding the guilty conscience, it feels gooooood to use paper towels. So good, I have devoted a half hour this morning to writing about it. I am trying to convince myself to savor these rolls and use them sporadically and only when really needed because once they're gone, there will be no more paper towels. I think.

Just to be consistent, here is my sweet boy in a tunnel...

No comments:

Post a Comment