Sunday, January 22, 2012

Earth Day.. Everyday!

I am on a never ending mission to be more "green".  I am by no means a die hard fanatic about it, but I do believe that every little bit helps.  If everyone just did something small, it can do so much!  So today's post will be about my mission in the kitchen.  I've been trying to eliminate wasteful products in the kitchen over the past year or so now.  It's a slow process for two reasons.  It costs money to do this.  I need time to try to convince my family about my (sometimes crazy)ideas.  Reusable paper towels?  That one took a while.  But finally it happened.  Now, with that said, we still buy paper towels and Ziploc baggies, but they are used MUCH less, and only for certain things.  Josh isn't into the idea of using my reusables for work, so he still uses the disposables, which is fine, it's all about compromise.  We use the reusable for everything we can, and that was my goal.  

The first to go was the baggies.  At least for me & Max.  I thought this would be one of the easier transitions, and it was.  I never looked back on this one!  Even for the sloppier items(fruit, pb & j's, sticky foods) worked well with these.  The insides wipe out so easily.  The only downfall is these aren't airtight, so things can get stale, but that was fine with me, I don't store things in here for any extended period of time.  I got these WasteNot Saks on Etsy, they were well worth it!

Next up was the ridding of gross cleaning products & soaps.  You know, you don't NEED chemicals to clean.  You can actually make most cleaning products very easily, but I haven't gotten to that point yet.  I have switched to Method everything though.  They're very environmentally friendly and their mission statement is great(they donate 5% of sales to the community, which I think is awesome).  I love their products too, they really do work well and they smell super yummy too.  We use Method brand dish soap, hand soap, antibacterial kitchen cleaner, all purpose cleaner and dishwasher soap, and that's JUST in the kitchen!)  

Next up, napkins.  These are still kind of in the works.  I didn't make too many yet because I need to get to the fabric store, but I did make a few to get us by in the meantime.  Before these I used flannel reusable baby wipes, but they weren't the prettiest and also weren't very absorbent.  So I made these from some of Josh's old shirts, I found the tutorial here and they were super easy and involved no sewing at all, just cutting.  I'll post my new napkins I make when I get around to doing it.  These cute hand dyed ones are first on my list!

These were my last endeavor, probably because I knew they would be the hardest to transition into.  Also, I knew they would take the most convincing.  These are our reusable paper towels.  Aren't they pretty?  Well, maybe not THAT pretty, but prettier than their paper form!  I got these at target, $3.99 for a pack of 6 and the bread basket they're stored in was on clearance for $6, so it was a fairly cheap investment.  I got these specific cloths because I have the towel version and they are super absorbent, so I knew they would work well.  They are obviously way more durable for cleaning things up, and can be reused multiple times before needing washed.  We still use paper towels for some things, and I will continue to buy them, but we half cut our usage of them drastically.  We really only use them to put on top of things that we microwave, I haven't found a good alternative for that yet.

We also have phased out paper plates as well, we still buy them for the rare occasion when we need them, but they're not even close to being used on a daily basis.  All of these switches were pretty painless(for me anyway, Josh might disagree).  Even if you make ONE change, that's still one change.  I guarantee that one change turns into two, and two into three.  That's how it happened for me!



  1. I love the napkin idea. We go through so many paper towels. Perhaps this is my next project :) - Libby

    1. I saw it on another blog a while ago and finally decided to take the plunge and I'm loving it. Try it out!

  2. They make a thing for the microwave that you can put over top of whatever you're reheating to prevent splatters and whatnot. I think it's like the size of a plate, or you could go crazy and not use a microwave. White vinegar cleans just as well as most products you would buy at the store.

    1. Not use the microwave? That IS crazy! I think I'll check out the plate/splatter guard thingy :) Thanks!


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