I admit it: I use paper towels. While I do have reusable cloths in my cleaning cabinet alongside all of my all-natural and biodegradable cleaning products, I also have a gigantic roll of paper towels… which I buy in bulk. And, sometimes when I clean, I look at the pile that I’ve created in the garbage can, totally guilty, and think to myself, “I really need to do something about this,” because, as we know, paper towels cannot be recycled. Now, I don’t use paper towels on an everyday basis. I use biodegradable sponges to wash my dishes, I use dishtowels to dry my dishes and wipe my hands, and I use my reusable cloths to wipe up spills. But when it comes to cleaning — especially the bathroom — guilty as charged. The toilet? Yup, that’s the ultimate worst. There are many paper towels on the market today that are made from recycled content. However, many are still made from virgin fibers and as we’ve mentioned before, as many as 51,000 trees per day are required to replace the number of paper towels that are discarded every day. That means that if every household in the U.S. used just one less 70-sheet roll of virgin fiber paper towels it would save 544,000 trees each year. I have to say that it takes me a while to get through my gigantic package of paper towels, so the money spent on them in this household per year certainly isn’t as high as others. And luckily, as long as your paper towels are unbleached and chlorine-free, they are safe to toss into your compost bin, not the trash. In 2012, I’m promising you, dear readers, that I’m going to treat my paper towel addiction. I will head into my bathroom, armed with reusable cleaning cloths and sponges that I own in various colors and sizes. I will no longer have to take several trips to the trashcan to unload my used and dirty paper towels, and I will no longer feel guilty as I stare at my pile of waste. Now how many cloths is it going to take to clean this dreaded toilet?
Green Resolutions: Using Fewer Paper Towels
That pile of sudsy paper towels? You can clean your home just fine without them.