Awhile back I wrote about how it was one of my goals to do away with paper towel waste in my home. I decided to replace our paper towel holder (that was WAY too easy to make use of right next to the sink!) with some homemade cloths made from cut up flour sack towels. You can read THAT post HERE.
Surprisingly, the system has been working very well! Not too bad for one I sorta just made up as I went along. But with help from YOUR suggestions and comments, I have made a few tweaks that have me quite pleased with the whole project! Even the hubster and the kids are on board now (which was no easy feat!)….and I can literally count on one hand the number of paper towels I have used since this paperless quest began! Now that’s what I call “progress.”
The first tweak to the system I made was to add some hooks inside the cabinet doors under my sink where I keep the soiled towels. Now I can hang the towels that I’m done using, but not yet ready to wash, up to dry before I lump them all together. And since I live in such a DRY state…they are dry in no time…and I just toss them into the bucket.
I actually became so enamored of these little hooks (you know those 3M Command hooks that through some fancy stretch release technology voodoo are completely removable?)….I went a little hook crazy! They have hooks for EVERYTHING! (But that’s a post for another day. Soon. Promise.)
The second tweak to the “Throwing In The Paper Towel” System by Jillee (patent pending. not really) comes by way of a comment from Maiz C. In my initial post I said I was keeping a roll of paper towels around for those really icky messes. Well Maiz had the brilliant idea to keep a separate stash of rags (made up of retired cloth napkins, sheets, towels, t-shirts, etc) for wiping up those occasional messes that you want to throw into the trash instead of the laundry.
Here are a couple of examples of when the “rag bag” would come in handy:
When I cook chicken I almost always pat it dry first so whatever oil and/or seasonings I’m using will stick to the chicken better. I really didn’t relish the idea of doing that with cloth and then holding on to it til I could wash it. ick.
Here I’m getting rid of the extra moisture with the help of a couple pieces of a ratty old t-shirt.
And then there’s the times when I have just dirtied a pan but want to use that SAME pan to make something else without having to wash and dry it. The old kill two recipes with one pan trick! Holding on to that cloth after using it to wipe out all that grease and gunk? No thank you.
This particular rag I used happened to be a part of an old sock with holes in it and no match!
Into the trash it goes!
And the last small change I made was swapping out the quite large basket of towels I keep on the kitchen counter for this smaller, more manageable sized one. I found I really didn’t need that many out at one time and it was taking up too much of my precious counter space! Besides, this other basket works perfectly for corralling my produce. :-) Win-Win.
After making these small tweaks to my paperless kitchen system…I hardly even notice the paper towels are gone! True story. Try it and see for yourself. :-)