Several months ago, my husband and I decided our family was going “paperless.” Don’t call us “green.” Call us “thrifty.” This has been a journey of stages for us and I’d like to share with you our ideas. Today’s experiment: Going Paperless.
Stage One: Cloth napkins. This step happened shortly after we were married. In my family, we’d use cloth napkins for years, making me sensitive to the scratchy feeling of paper upon my face. Once we found some cloth napkins at a thrift store and my husband tried it out, he instantly became a lifer.
Stage Two: Wipes. That’s right, Folks. My baby’s bum gets nothing but the best. I made homemade cloth wipes and spray them with a gentle cleansing solution. Watch for the “how-to” in next week’s posts.
Stage Three: Paper towels. This was by far the biggest stage and takes the most transitioning. We survive quite fine without paper towels now, and I want to tell you how.
Most often, we used paper towels to clean up messes. When we decided to go paperless all the way, we went out and bought a big Wal-Mart pack of wash clothes. I use wash clothes for cleaning up all kitchen messes now. Having a toddler, I may go through several a day, but I just let them dry over the edge of the clothes hamper and get another one out for the next mess.
I also used a lot of paper towels to clean around the house, especially in the bathroom and windows. For the windows, I always use a wash cloth. I spray my vinegar-water solution on the window and wipe it down using one side of the washcloth, then use the dry side to buff away any streaks. When cleaning the bathroom, I use old socks and t-shirts that I’ve cut into pieces, so that, after use, I can just throw them away like I would a paper towel.
We laid our snacks and sometimes lunches on paper towels. Now, we just go the old-fashioned route and put them on plates and in bowls. By the way, we are paperless when it comes to dinnerware too.
Last of all, I would use paper towels to grease baking pans and sheets with shortening. My husband cannot do this one because he is all about textures and how things feel, but I have no problem with that. I simple wash my hands, dip into the shortening, and spread it around my pan with my fingers. At first, it seemed a little gross to do that, but now it just seems natural.
There you have it! No more buying paper napkins, towels, wipes, plates or bowls in our house. We simply made a one-time purchase, changed our habits, and now we save!
Have other ideas about how to save money by going paperless? Lay them on me!