Friday, August 6, 2010

Paper or Cloth? Napkins that is.

We ran out of napkins a few weeks ago so I pulled out some cloth napkins I have until I went to the store. Then I realized that I like using cloth napkins. Something about using pretty cloth napkins just feels fancy and special. Even if you're just eating cereal.

We toss them in the laundry room when we're done. They get laundered with all our other laundry. We're not throwing anything away.  They fold nicely and are stored in our napkin holder just like the old paper napkins.

It's better for the planet. And frankly, they are much nicer to use than paper, so it's a win-win.

So this got me thinking. How about paper towels? We have a ton of dish cloths and towels. Maybe we can get rid of them too. So we're giving it a try. We'll see how it goes. So far it's fine.

Since I'm on a roll (ha, ha) what else can get I rid of that just gets thrown away? 

Ziplocks. Check. They are pretty much gone from our house. I use the gallon size bags to freeze meat. Elli's school discourages kids from using Ziplocks, so we try to stick to reusable tupperware type containers whenever we can. The only annoying thing with tupperware is how much space they take up in the dishwasher each day. 

Paper coffee mugs. Check. Don and I take our coffee in travel mugs every morning. We rarely, if ever, use paper cups. In fact, if you take your travel mug to Starbucks or another coffee shop they will often give you a better price. 

Paper and plastic grocery bags. I'm working on it. This is the one thing I'm still really bad at. I always forget to put the reusable grocery bags back in the car. And I better get my act together. Here in Marin County people are extremely progressive as far as environmental concerns go. They want to ban all bags at retail stores, grocery included. So I better start remembering to put the bags back in the car after I've unloaded the groceries.

Are there any other good tips out there? Giving up toilet paper or using 3 squares is not a tip I'm interested in - in case you were thinking of going there. TP is the one paper product we're not giving up any time soon.

One last thought....

Does anyone know why Trader Joe's uses so much packaging for their produce? It makes me crazy. Plus I like to pick out my own stuff. I would like to know why they do it. And if they are thinking about changing.

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