We use a lot of disposable items in our society today. And I totally understand—once, when our apartment building had a big leak and we didn’t have water for a full day, I ran out to buy disposable plates. There was something incredibly wonderful about throwing the plates and utensils in the trash after meals instead of spending time washing everything, but it’d be difficult to make that sustainable. Not only did we make tons more trash than we usually do, but disposables certainly add up financially over time. And I totally admit that if we didn’t have an Earth to save and our trash totally just vanished into a black hole, I’d be the first in line to stop washing dishes and convert to disposables! But if you need some help being thrifty and cut down on your use of disposable products, try these replacements:
Towels instead of paper napkins and paper towels—The easiest way to do this is just to go to your local favorite store that sells kitchen towels and buy a ton of them on sale. Sure, you can buy fancy lace-lined linen cloth napkins, but a couple small 4-packs of barcloths work just as well for everyday, non-dinner-party days. If you’re willing to spend a little more money (or are very crafty), some businesses sell rolls of reusable towels that come in rolls like paper towels but Velcro together, so you can still keep a roll out on your counter.
Cloth diapers instead of disposables—Don’t leave! Don’t stop reading yet! Cloth diapers have come a really long way in the last ten to twelve years or so. There’s no need for pins and plastic pants—modern cloth diapers can come all in one piece and snap or Velcro together. They’re just as easy to use as disposables, but are reusable! You needn’t use them all the time, either—we use cloth at home and disposables while we’re out and about. Any little bit of money saved is… well… money saved.
Handkerchiefs instead of Kleenex—Disposable tissues definitely have their place. I shudder to think of the crazy germs that would be spread if we made every school child use handkerchiefs instead of tissues in the classroom! But think about using handkerchiefs at home for everyday use instead of tissues. They may even be gentler on your poor, chafed nose than tissues!
What other reusable products do you use around your home instead of disposables?
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