When you embark on an eco-friendly lifestyle change, the kitchen is one of the first rooms you should revamp. Kitchen waste accounts for a large percentage of your trash output, but it doesn't have to be that way! Disposable paper towels may be a convenience item, but they waste money and generate a lot of trash.
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Here are some tips to help you achieve a paper-free kitchen:
1. Switch to Cloth Napkins
Not feeling ready to ditch the paper towels? Switch to cloth napkins instead. Cotton napkins are absorbent, soaking up any spills. You'll feel like you are at a fancy restaurant! A single cloth napkin can last an entire day so that you can leave them on the table between meals.
2. Make Sure You Have Enough
Next, you want enough cloths to ensure you don't have to do laundry daily because then you'll go straight back to paper towels. Depending on the size of your family, 20+ cloths is a good start. Purchase a few at a time to make the transition easier and cheaper on your wallet. Wait for a good sale!
3. Use Cloth Towels and Rags
Paper towels might be convenient, but a family can easily go through a roll of paper towels in a day or two. That is a waste of money! A towel can last an entire day or handle a large spill. Rags can be a bath towel cut up into smaller pieces or a shirt that had holes. Some of the best rags are old men underwear!
Take a look around your house to see what you already have available. You can make your towels and rags with spare fabric.
4. Pick a Convenient Spot for the Towels
If you want to ditch the paper towels, the cloth towels need to be just as convenient for you. An upper drawer located centrally in your kitchen is a good choice or a basket on your countertops. Glass jars make fantastic storage locations.
For your hand drying and dish drying towels, keep them on the dishwasher or oven handle. You can also install a rod close to your sink for easy storage.
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5. Put a Laundry Bin Close By
Once the cloths are used, you need a place to put the dirty towels. The idea is to make it as easy as throwing away paper towels in the trash can. Some people place a small trash can under the sink or at the end of your countertops.
6. Get Your Family on Board
Explain to your kids while you want to go paperless. The process will be much smoother if everyone in the house is on board with your plans.
The key to successfully transitioning to a paperless kitchen is to make it as convenient as possible. Paper towels are made with convenience in mind, so create the same system in your kitchen. Soon, you'll eliminate all of the paper waste and save money each month.