Napkinless Existence - A tale about going paperless

Up here in the land of Whoville, on top of Mt. Crumpit, I never thought I'd see the day I would give up paper goods. Living on a hill with a dirt driveway with two small boys is a pretty messy experience, and when life gives you spilled lemonade...grab your paper towels.

Or not.

It doesn't really matter if the glaciers are melting or not, or if you think macaws are going homeless without a rain forest. Reducing the amount of paper products you use is at least worth considering on three points.

Mass consumption of paper is....

1) Wasteful.
2) Full of chemicals
3) It costs money

Notice none of those are one of the ten commandments or anything. So if you're clutching a roll of Bounty and daring me to pry them from your cold dead fingers... don't worry. I won't be judging your Huggies or Kleenex. Wipe, change and sniffle away.

But if you're interested in ways to go green. Here's some stuff I've done and some other stuff that's just plain cool.

Cloth Napkins.

Get as fancy or as simple as you like. I've dyed, painted, stitched and sewn my way through more of these than is recommended by the general surgeon. I have some kept away for special occaisons (they get stain treated and pressed) and some for general, everyday use (these do not get any special treatment...just thrown into the wash at the end of a meal).

Terry Towel Rags

You know how paper towel commercials brag about absorbency and sturdiness? They are tissue paper compared to the manly bag of terry towel squares you can buy at Home Depot for a few dollars.
They are so absorbent that half the time I use them to dry dishes because they work too darn well. They aren't pretty, but they get the job done.

Cloth Diapers
Too big of a topic to go into right now, but isn't this the cutest diaper you've ever seen?


Bicycle Hankies

Cloth Coffee Filters

Reusable Hemp Coffee Filter

Toilet Paper

Pick and use liberally.

...Just Kidding! We're not quite there yet.
5 sprinkles of fairy dust:

You're not using *family cloth*!? ;-). Lol

I love the reusable coffee filter; I never would've thought of that. I have been meaning to invest in the cloth means to go without paper towels, paper napkins, and tissue... cloth diapers are pretty cool :-P

Yes! I have met very few people who do this, so it was great to see a whole blog post.
I don't remember exactly when I started going paperless, but it has been at least six months. I bought a big pack of microfiber towels at Sam's Club and quit using paper towels. Cloth napkins are great (as long as I remember to wash them!), and my kids really like using them. They also do a much better job at dealing with dinner time spills.
I will have to check into the coffee filters. We don't use a coffee pot very often, but it would still be worth checking into.
Somewhere online I saw some reusable sandwich bags, which I think would be really great for those who pack lunches frequently.
Other things we are trying to eliminate include paper plates and plastic wrap.

lol I like your toilet paper picture. :P

We got the microfiber towels awhile back and that has helped cut WAY back on our paper towel usage. We still keep them around for when they are a better option, but it has saved us a lot of money by not using them all the time. :)

Ok, You scared me a sec with the toilet paper. Please never get that green. I love the idea of getting rid of paper products, but I haven't put it into practice yet. I didn't even know there were non disposable coffee filters. Yeah, about as "green" as I get is my refillable water bottle. I have much to learn.

I don't think I'll give up my toilet paper, but I have found a way to use the toilet paper roll instead of throwing it away. I've been reading some gardening books and one suggested to use toilet paper rolls to grow seedlings indoors while waiting for the weather to warm up outside. This saves on buying little planting boxes:)