Time to go Paper Towel-less

I’m linking- up my Change The World Wednesday Challenge from Reduced Footprints.  Last week, the challenge was to banish the paper towels in your life.

Paper towels is not something I normally think about.  We have a roll of paper towels in our kitchen that we use for napkins, cleaning and a number of other things.  Before the challenge, I never considered the amount of waste that was coming from our house – in something as simple as a paper towel.

I want to look at the Paper towel a bit deeper.

Here is the offender.

Reduce Paper Towel Use


The paper towel.  It’s white – and rather unassuming.  It’s gotten me out of many-a-jam in the past 9 years or so.

But, let’s look a bit deeper that this innocent modern convenience.

  • 40% of landfills are filled with paper products
  • The paper industry is the third largest contributor to global warming
  • The average American discards more than 700 lbs of paper
  • If the average American family used one less 70 ct. roll of paper towels, it would save an astonishing 544,000 trees

Facts from 1800recycling

Here are some great resources on paper towels and how we can reduce our paper towel use at home

  1. Ways to Reduce your Paper Towel Use
  2. Fun Facts about Paper Towels and Ways to Reduce

My report for the week

I tried really really hard, and did well – I think.  I have very little money to go out and buy recycled/unbleached paper products, so I used towels as napkins.  I  kept the towels for a few days (or until they got too soiled) then threw them in the dirty clothes.  We ha a unique situation in that the line from our washing machine to our septic is clogged.  Haha!  So, I can’t wash until the plumber comes – on Wednesday (the day after tomorrow).   We also had a stomach bug in the house (total yuck).


How fortunate that I started this challenge last Wednesday, right?  Needless to say, I’m out of towels and the little girl is still having the tummy yuckies.  We are still trucking along.  My husband just watches, laughs, and uses his paper towels – but the kids and I are still on track.   Due to the yuckies, and habit, I have used more paper towels than I would have liked to.  I have used about 10 sheets or so – which is just a fraction of what we normally use in a week!

However, I think we put a good effort in, and look forward to doing even better in the coming weeks (once I get used to the change, and I just don’t grab a paper towel without thinking).

How about you?  What ways can you think of reducing the paper that you use?  What actions/steps have you initiated in your home?

About Lisa

Hey! Thank you so much for stopping by. I'm Lisa - a homeschool mom of 3 (2 boys and 1 girl). I care about the strength of the family in America, and often blog about babies/kids, natural parenting, homeschool, and marriage. Before you leave, please sign up for my monthly newsletter (on the top right). If you do, you will be well rewarded with notification of all giveaways and sales - which will not be announced on the blog. Google+ Profile


  1. I’m so sorry that your family has been ill, Lisa … that makes it doubly hard to ban paper towels. You’ve made a great effort, though … even cutting back on paper towels goes a long ways in reducing waste and protecting natural resources. The statistic about how many trees we’d save if we gave up just one roll … wow … that’s amazing. When I decided to ban paper towels, I started looking in thrift stores and goodwill for cloth napkins. It’s amazing how many I’ve found. I now have an eclectic assortment of them … they’re so pretty. I save worn out towels and shirts for cleaning rags. Nicely done, Lisa … I hope that everyone in your house is healthy soon!
    Small Footprints recently posted…Meet & Greet Monday (#MtaGt) – Earth Day EditionMy Profile

    • Very very good idea! I was thinking I was going to sew some napkins, but I didn’t get them done.

      I also want to sew a towel for the kitchen – to dry things/hands off. I was thinking I need a towel rack (kind of like we have a paper towel rack).
      Lisa recently posted…Time to go Paper Towel-lessMy Profile

  2. This is great!! We use cloth napkins and even cloth diapers. We started feeling guilty when we thought of the landfill! Its amazing how accustomed we are to doing things a certain way and never think twice about it. Thanks for sharing! Please join us for our 1st blog hop ever on our site! 🙂

    Amanda recently posted…And the Music Never… Oh Wait! It Did! It DID Die! 🙁My Profile

  3. I do hope your family recovers quickly. You are a brave soul to stick with it through the week you have had. We also, like Small Footprints, went to cloth napkins years ago – it feels so strange when we have paper napkins in the house or paper plates – usually when a guest leaves them here. We do still use paper towels here and there but it is so much less than we used to. It all makes a great difference! Way to go.
    Cool Mom (Christine M.) recently posted…Book Review: 5 Stars to an Enchanting Adventure StoryMy Profile

  4. We switched to cloth napkins years ago. They’re SO easy to make. I like cotton/flannel best, but you can make them with whatever you have on hand. I should hit the scrap bucket and make up some more, as some are getting pretty worn.

    We have a lot of kitchen towels, and the paper towels are up pretty high, so the kids always reach for cloth towels for cleaning up spills. I think the last time I used a paper towel was to pick up something that fell out of the cat box while I was cleaning it–several weeks ago.

    Cloth diapers, cloth wipes, cloth pads, cloth grocery bags… I try to do my little part where I can.
    Shecki recently posted…Alpha Omega Publications GIVEAWAYMy Profile

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge