Monday, March 28, 2011

The Paper Towel Challenge - Success is Progressing Along

Several times this week I caught myself reaching for a paper towel and then grabbed a rag. I am beginning to re-train myself away from the paper towels. Here are the results for last week:

Monday
1 paper towel to wipe up sink in bathroom
Total: 1

Tuesday
1 paper towel to wipe up sink in bathroom
Total: 1

Wednesday
2 paper towels to wipe kitchen counter
Total: 2

Thursday
1 paper towel to clean up after feeding cats
1 paper towel to wipe and clean cat’s eyes
Total: 2

Friday
Total: 0

Saturday
Total: 0

Sunday
Total: 0
Grand Total: 5 paper towels for the week - down from 52 last week!

By noting how many paper towels I use I have been much more aware of my paper towel usage. I did slip up a few times when I was in a hurry or ran out of rags, but that has taught me to get more rags. We have plenty of old washcloths and towels that we can use for this purpose. I am now placing more rags in the kitchen and bathrooms, so that I do not need to grab paper towels. Our trash bin consistently has a very small amount of trash on trash day. By reducing our paper towel usage, that amount will be even smaller. So, I will let this stand as the last day of the Paper Towel Challenge. I have learned a lot from this challenge, and I hope you can see that it is not very hard to make a small change. It really is simply a matter of paying attention. Good luck!
©Michelle A. Potter

Related posts:
The Paper Towel Challenge - Progress Report
The Paper Towel Challenge

22 comments:

  1. Nice idea! We don't use tons of paper towels, but I've inadvertently come up with a way to make us think twice before grabbing one. When we replaced our kitchen cabinets, we "temporarily" put our paper towel roll in the corner of one of the lazy susan cabinets -- the "wasted" space that's not on the rotating part.

    So we know where the roll is, but having to open the cabinet and reach in to the corner makes it easier to grab a rag or cloth towel. =)

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  2. @Alan
    Great idea! I enjoy reading how other people tackle the challenge. I think once we finish what we have, we may stop buying them.

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  3. I live with a germaphobe so it has been hard to convince him to stop using paper towels so much..we just had this ocnversation...I will have to take drastic uncomfortable measures to make any headway

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  4. @Donna
    Unfortunately, both my husband and I can be a bit germaphobic. It can be a good thing and a bad thing. We are working on the 'bad' part. :)

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  5. You are so frugal! We, too, have a small trash load due to extensive recycling/composting. But I'm not sure i can convince my husband about paper towels - he grabs handfuls at a time whenever he's in the kitchen. I believe his motto is "More is better!"

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  6. This has been a challenge, Cynthia. And I wanted to do it...that makes it easier. I certainly know that feeling of grabbing a whole bunch because it is easy and fast.

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  7. I do use less, but like the rest, have a husband who also uses anything on a roll by the rollfull.

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  8. :) Those husbands! I think the important thing is to try...and then laugh! Perfection is an elusive, and sometimes stressful, endeavor.

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  9. Although we could still improve, living in central europe shortly after the fall of communism helped train us to use less. Small steps soon become good habits.

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  10. I agree. My mother grew up in Germany during WWII. Being exposed to her and her family taught me a lot about frugal living. They did not take much for granted.

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  11. Hi, thanks for picking my post i was able to see yours. Thank you for saving more trees and saving carbon equivalents. The advanced countries produce more fossil fuel emissions, and use more paper towels, haha. We dont use much paper towels as we use rags, wash them and use again. Maybe we are polluting our soil and rivers though with using lots of detergents! I dont know who among us pollute the earth more! I just know when the earth complains, we are in here together!

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  12. Great post! One step at a time I keep telling myself...

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  13. It can be perplexing, Andrea. I feel all we can do is try...and hope that what we do matters in the long run. Mother Earth is a beautiful place.

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  14. Yep...one step at a time, Mrs. Bok, one step at a time.

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  15. Good post. Makes one stop and think of all the small habits that we could easily change.

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  16. Congratulations, we all need to change our planet depleting habits one by one.

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  17. Hi HolleyGarden. They are such small things, aren't they? Just one step at a time.

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  18. Thank you, GreenEarth. It just takes one small step for all of us.

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  19. Thanks so much for the link - I LOVE this post. I have been collecting vintage linens to move away from the paper towels. Makes it fun.

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  20. Great idea, Tracey. I like hearing how other people tackle this challenge.

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  21. Great post! We don't use that many paper towels (use cloth napkins instead of paper) but I've started being more aware like cleaning up cat problems. Last week I cleaned it with a cloth instead of a paper towel. What's one more cloth in the load? Again great post.

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  22. I am working on that one as well, Lynda. For some reason, pet issues propel me to grab the paper towels. I am getting better. I have been grabbing towels and rags of late.

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'I see trees of green, red roses, too
I see 'em bloom for me and for you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world'
--What a Wonderful World

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