jeremy opened our last roll of paper towels today. i don't know the exact number of rolls we've been through since lucy was born and we started making all of these eco-friendly changes, but have haven't purchased paper towels at all in the last 10 months... we've just been using up what we've got stashed in our garage (leftovers from a costco pack).
can i just say i cannot fathom buying paper towels from costco ever again? i can't believe how we used to blow through them--wiping down the counters, cleaning spots on the floors, cleaning the windows, using them as napkins, cleaning off the dog's muddy feet... we'd probably go through a roll at least every 2 weeks. not anymore. but i'm curious to know just how long we can stretch a roll. so today marks the beginning of paper towel watch (from here on out known as PTW). we've got an 80 sheet roll, people. big sheets, too, not the kind that you can rip off any size, depending on the mess at hand. i'm going to try to account for each sheet used, and see just how long it takes us to reach the end of the roll, as well as what the heck we're still using them for. want to take guesses on how long it will be?
paper towel sheet #01: has gone to line the bottom of the indoor compost bucket. there really is no better way that i've found to keep the pail somewhat clean--the towel absorbs all of the gross juicy stuff that comes from the food scraps while they sit in the pail. no nasties get stuck to the pail--everything slides out nicely into the compost bin. plus, the towel ends up getting composted, so i feel a little less guilty about using it for my own convenience (laziness?).
of course, in place of all those single-use paper towels, we're using an assortment of old washcloths, cut-up t-shirts and super-stained dishtowels. i keep a huge stack of them under the sink and probably go through about 3 or 4 a day between wiping down the floor, the high chair, lucy's hands, the counters, etc. i just throw all the dirties in with towels whenever i have a full load. on occasion i wash them with a bit of oxyclean to get them really clean again. so far, it's working.
some people buy really fancy "unpaper towels, " which are made to be super absorbent, but also pretty enough to have setting out on the counter in a basket or something. i love the idea, but realistically, mine would be looking super raggedy looking within a few weeks, so i just stick with the ugly rags and keep them hidden out of sight. but i'm thinking that this month's giveaway might have something to do with pretty "unpaper" to celebrate the start of PTW. stay tuned!