Green Friday-Reusable Wash Rags

In my efforts to become a better steward to the Earth, I am making great changes within my house.  These changes are coming slowly but surely, but they are coming.  I have 99% eliminated paper plates.  You can read about that here.  Next on the check list has been a really really hard one-paper towel.

On my quest to eliminate paper towel we have successfully eliminated those tubs of chemically treated wipes.  That was easy!  But that also increased our usage of paper towel.  So I really had to stop and think about what I was doing.  Seriously, with two smaller children there is a lot to clean up , disinfect, and wipe up.  A side note to that statement, I am a little bit of a germ freak.  Not excessive, but just certain things.  For instance, until recent months I would never use a bath towel more than once.  It was used.  I know! I know!  It wiped off my clean body.  I have heard it all before.  Another one-wash clothes disgust me (almost as much as connected hot dogs-that one is for you Big Binder 🙂 ).  But in order to be better to the environment and instill these practices within my children, I am learning to overcome my ISSUES.

Enter-reusable wash rags.  I have a set for the bathroom and a set for the kitchen and a miscellaneous set.  I use them to wash their designated room and in the wash they go.  Who knew it could be that easy.  I also purchased about 20 washcloths at the dollar store in packs of four for daily use.  These are the clothes that I use on counter tops, tables, sticky hands, and at the end of the day in the wash it goes.  Small, small changes is the key to making the transition easier.  Now don’t get me wrong, I still purchase papertowel.  But I went from buying it by the case at Sam’s club once every other month, to 2 rolls a month.  Huge reduction!

I don’t have any fancy dancy statistics on the average household use of paper towel or how long it takes to break down, but I do know that less paper towel waste is better all around.  So even though paper towel can not be infiltrated with sandpaper, bricks, or a 10 pound weight-reusable rags are the way to go.  Try it!


4 Responses to “Green Friday-Reusable Wash Rags”

  1. 1 Kate B. August 8, 2008 at 2:49 am

    I just decided to try that myself! I ordered a set of seven dish towels and I’m going to use a dish towel to wipe all my counters and then at the end of the day toss it in the laundry. I’ve gotten pretty consistent at doing one load of laundry every day (which is way better than needing to do 7 loads every Saturday!) so it won’t be a problem making sure they’re clean when I need them. More trees saved through less paper towel consumption!

  2. 2 thediaperdiaries August 8, 2008 at 3:14 am

    THis is one that I admittedly don’t do cause I am baby steps and this will be a step toward the end cause I love me some chemically treated wiupes. I will tell you however that you can use those glorious chemically treated wipes from Method and they are more environmentally friendly. See how earthy I am?

  3. 3 bigbinder August 8, 2008 at 3:38 am

    I am stuck in the middle here. If I cut up a chicken (sorry, you probably have hives from reading that) or let’s say handle chicken or raw meat, I have to use some Clorox Clean-Up, spray the counter and wipe it with a paper towel and throw it away. But.. we use cloth napkins for dinner, and I have a drawer full of baby washcloths I use to wipe up messy kids during the day.

    We all have our issues, yours with the attached meat, and mine, with the sincere devotion to Clorox. We make quite a pair 🙂

  4. 4 Char August 8, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    We’ve always used re-usable washclothes, and have been paper towel free for well over a year or so. It also helps that we don’t eat meat…so no worries about spreading nasty germs. When I did eat meat though, we still used re-usuable towels. You just put them in a bin to be washed in hot water, rather than leaving it on your sink to be used again.

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