Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
We ran out of napkins. Again. Followed shortly by the announcement from an upstairs bathroom by a juvenile voice that there was a “really super huge big” spill and there were no paper towels. Again.
Since I buy these products at our local warehouse store, one would think that running out of these things would be a problem. But it is.
I read an article recently (and I can’t put my hands on it for the reference, sorry), where the author talked about doing an audit of paper products in her home and replacing them with cloth reusable alternatives.
Auditing My Home
In the kitchen we use paper towels for wiping up and paper napkins for lunches and the dinner table. In the bathrooms we use toilet paper and paper towels for cleaning. In the garage we use paper towels for cleaning up. And there is a roll of paper towels in the cat “bathroom” for hairball cleanup. We don’t use disposable cups, plates or silverware.
While I am not willing to go down the path of reusable facial tissues (handkerchiefs) or washable toilet paper, I am willing to replace paper towels with rags and napkins with cloth napkins.
As a result, I went to the pile of old teeshirts and cut them up into usable pieces for use as rags. I also went through the dishcloth drawer and anything that was ratty got the corners cut off (to differentiate from the usable ones) and put in the rag bin. A pile of rags went into the kitchen, the garage and our bathroom.
I also went to my local fabric store, and taking advantage of the cotton fabric sale, I bought four yards of four different prints. Cutting them into 10″ squares, a bit of creative ironing and stitching, and we now have a large stock of cloth napkins. I selected the fabric dark to hide stains and of a general color scheme to go with the kitchen.
I don’t think we will ever get fully away from using paper products. But my daughter is excited about the cloth napkins, and is looking forward to taking them in her lunches. And the rags often do a better job of cleaning up messes than paper towels anyway. At least I won’t have to go into a panic because we are out of something, and we’re doing a bit better on our impact to the planet.
Photo by otakuchick