While making lunch this afternoon (well if you count opening the can, pouring soup into bowl and heating for 3 minutes “making lunch”) I spilled a little of my soup on the counter. Immediately without looking up I grabbed for a paper towel, wiped up the spill and threw the towel away. The little hippie on my shoulder screamed at me for what I had just done. A mere tablespoon worth of liquid had spilled so why didn’t I just grab the sponge and clean it up the old fashioned way–well for one…this tree hugger is also a germophobe and sponges are known for being breeding grounds for bacteria!
In my head I began contemplating the great paper towel versus a sponge or dish towel debate. Quite the conundrum a germaphobic hippie…don’t get me started on how I feel about the shower curtain liner touching me…or friends whose toothbrushes are stored on the backs of toilets. Now there are certain things I must use paper towels for like patting down mapley deliciously smoked bacon on Sunday mornings, but mainly for picking up the more than occasional doo poo (I have two vindictive Mini Schnauzers who despise my social life and like to leave love notes in front of the kitchen door) or the freshly barfed up grass. But for the most part my large collection of bar mops and dishtowels should suffice–right? I mean as a child I didn’t die from my mothers and Grandmothers use of a dishcloth or dishtowels..right?
Now some of you are saying oh you aren’t a real tree hugger if you are using paper towels man…WRONG, first read my license plate — TREHGR — second, any educated person or forester will tell you that we need a healthy and sustainable forest product industry, yes folks that means hugging trees while they are standing up or laying down! We do need to harvest our forests to keep them vibrant and healthy. The key word is sustainability here, we have to find that balance within our homes.
I am not saying in any way you should ban paper towels or toilet paper use in your home (I need more than two squares unlike Sheryl Crow!) but be more conscious of your usage. If you have the ability to start a compost pile please do it and then you can enjoy the game of how little waste you throw out each week. Food scraps can be turned into free dirt for your own homes, friends and neighbors. Those paper towels will biodegrade nicely as long as you haven’t been using them to bleach your sink!
We should all remember that first we must reduce before we reuse and recycling should be our next option because there is no place called away where we can magically throw things.
That being said I’ve realized that even the green can get a little greener, and it will help my wallet not be so lean as well — have you noticed the high price for something you’ll only throw away?! I’ve challenged myself to use less and only when the situation calls for it, I challenge you all to do the same and get comfortable with being uncomfortable!
Posted by: Amanda