We are a major paper-towel-using family. We regularly go to Sam's Club and buy ALL THE PAPER TOWELS.
Or you know, just one package of them. But one package contains a lot of rolls.
And then we use all of them.
And my environment-loving heart dies a little every time we have to buy more.
Unrelated, the other day I was Googling ways to save money, and an idea I hadn't considered before popped up: use cloth towels instead of paper towels for normal household messes, and then when they're dirty, throw them in the washer. (Exception: bodily fluids, because that's just gross. I'm also going to include the cat's bodily fluids, because Elliott likes to revenge-puke and it's revolting.) The author mentioned that they had a roll of paper towels that they hadn't finished off in over a year because of this habit. Color me impressed. We go through like a roll a month!
I know paper towels aren't really that expensive and therefore won't actually save us a whole lot in the short-term, but my greater concern is that I'm tired of throwing stuff in the trash. Our city's recycling programs are extremely limited, I'm not able to compost properly in our little "backyard," and we throw a lot of stuff away that could be prevented under different circumstances. And I'm not one to let my circumstances make decisions for me.
So I whipped up a few "towels" out of some old T-shirts, put them in a basket and set the basket on the kitchen table. And I want to just see if I can go ... say, a month? ... without reverting back to paper waste. I've already caught myself reaching for the paper towels when I need a place to put food scraps while I'm slicing and dicing, or when the counter has schmutz on it and needs to be wiped down. I want to get to a point someday where I don't even think about using paper towels for these things.
How do you reduce waste in your house? What products do you use just way too much?