Home > low-impact, sustainability > low-impact update – reusable bags

low-impact update – reusable bags

so it’s been about 5 weeks or so since we stopped using paper towels in my house. it has not been difficult at all! we bought a few more dish towels for cleaning, as well as cloth napkins for eating. i’ve also donated a few old t-shirts to the rag pile. it took a few days of reminding cindy not to use paper towels, but very quickly we moved on to our new routine. the only time we broke down was when our dog peed in the kitchen (his first accident in 6 years). aside from that, the roll of paper towels has sat untouched for 5 weeks. it’s pretty cool to see how much less you use when you make the effort.

taking a cue from my recent posts about banning plastic grocery bags, our next step is…not using plastic grocery bags! i’m going to pick up some reusable totes – we also have a humongous reusable plastic bag that we bought from ikea for $0.50 (it’s too big, though, so we’ll only fill it halfway). we’ll use our reusable bags for our weekly grocery shopping trips and save on the nuisance of disposable plastic bags – they’re petroleum products, they take roughly 1000 yrs to break down in a landfill, and more often than not they’re seen littering parks, streets, and waterways. we’ve never thrown away our plastic grocery bags after shopping, either – we typically use them for carrying lunch. we’ll continue to use them for that purpose or put a bunch of them out w/ the plastic recycling.

[UPDATE:]  i talked w/ Cindy last night about our ‘milestone’, and she replied that looking back, she didn’t think we ever used paper towels all that often.  i reminded her about how often we used to switch out paper towel rolls – probably once a week or so (using the paper towels to clean, as napkins, as covers for food in the microwave…).  now we are practically paper towel free.  had the dog not had an accident the other day, we’d still be on the same paper towel roll for over 5 weeks.  it’s a matter of perception, and it just goes to show how easy it is to do without the things you think are necessary when there are perfectly viable alternatives.

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Categories: low-impact, sustainability
  1. May 24, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    I think that’s great. I’ve cut down on the paper towels but haven’t been able to shake the paper napkin habit just yet. I’m working on it tho.

    I recently blogged about our switch to reusable grocery bags. We started by going to the commissary and making our regular purchases with plastic bags. After we got home, we discovered that for half a cart of goods, we used SEVENTEEN plastic bags. You can see photos here: http://www.stalebetty.com/tag/eco+bags/

    Anyway, so then I ordered reusable bags and hit the commissary again. For 52 items, we used only FOUR of our reusable bags. They just hold more than plastic bags and it’s soo nice to be able to unload the car in one trip instead of going back and forth. Plus, by the time I made it home, the bags were still upright, nothing had tipped over or rolled around in the back. So nice!

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