Creating A Chemical Free Home

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A Paper Free Kitchen


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I have a paper free kitchen. This confuses some people when they first come in to the kitchen for classes.  I made this decision pretty early on. With upwards of 20 people passing through my kitchen each week that is at least 20 napkins a week, 80 napkins a month. Plus if I used paper towels, that would be at least a roll per class if not more. This was going to be a lot of paper wasted for no great reason.

I made the decision early on to use only cloth napkins and provide a great big stack of towels for wiping, drying and anything else you use towels or paper towels for in the kitchen. I am pretty sure the investment up front may have been more, but two years on, I know it has saved oodles of dollars and even more oodles of trees.

As I gear up for my fall classes and look for ways to make my kitchen even more eco-friendly, I got to thinking about this tree/paper waste factor and so headed over to my fave cloth towel provider People Towels where they list the following stats:

  • To make one ton of paper towels, 17 trees and 20,000 gallons of water are polluted.
  • Every day, over 3,000 tons of paper towel waste is produced in the US alone.
  • Decomposing paper towels produce methane gas, a leading cause of global warming.
  • The average person uses 2,400 – 3,000 paper towels at work, in a given year.

Um... so there! So, I stock my kitchen full of towels and though I have a washing machine I don’t have a dryer. I do spend a significant amount of time folding towels and napkins but this simply allows for an opportune time to catch up on the phone with my grandma once a week.

I know that many place have now installed hand dryers as a way to cut down on paper towels but I really just hate these things and so I keep a towel with me. Consider cutting up old towels, t-shirts, bed sheets or perhaps getting yourself a stylish version from the awesomely responsibly and very stylish People Towels.

Question Of The Day: What is your best tip to help green up your kitchen and/or your cooking?

105 Responses to “A Paper Free Kitchen”

  1. Dana S said…
    I "liked" your facebook page.
  2. Dana S said…
    We use cloth napkins rather than paper towels and I dry my clothes on wooden drying racks...saves energy and makes the clothes last longer.
  3. Dana S said…
    I "liked" people towels facebook page.
  4. [...] Fall classes are filling up quickly. Don’t miss out on the class of your choice. Register early to make sure you get in on the goodness. And don’t miss this week’s People Towels Giveaway! [...]
  5. Julia said…
    I posted on the FB page, but wanted to add over here that I grow my own vegetables. My next jobs are going to be to compost again(we used to in our house, but haven't started in our townhome) and start switching out the flying pans. All the saucepans are stainless steel, but I haven't managed to get the knack of fry pans without a non stick surface. I'm following on twitter and am following People Towels on Twitter. I've also posted on the FB page.
  6. Julia said…
    I would love to try this product! I've been looking for something similar for so long. I friended them and you on twitter :) Thanks for such a great giveaway!
  7. Jennifer said…
    I try to multitask whenever I have to use the big oven, use my toaster oven most of the time, turn my electric burners off a few minutes before my food is totally done and just use residual heat, use castille soap for dishes and hands, try not to waste food, and use biodegradable natural sponges. I'm almost weaned from paper towels, though I admit I keep a roll around for when the cat pukes. Eventually I'll get over that one.
  8. Megan said…
    ooOOOoo I just checked the website and I love these towels! I use a vinegar and lemon essential oil solution to clean surfaces and baking soda for tougher stains instead of toxic cleaners.
  9. Lesli said…
    Hope I'm not too late to get into the Paper People giveaway! My best and longest going tip (been doing this for...hmmm, almost 20 years? And I'm not that old, really!) is that I never use plastic bags when buying produce, nor when storing them. Everything just rolls around on the conveyor belts when I go to the grocery (though those trips are few and far between during my CSA and market summers), and at home I have washable mesh bags to store things that I need them for, or I use reusable containers for things such as cut onions.
  10. Lesli said…
    Megan, I make my own cleaners, too, and add essential oils to change the scent to my mood. Homemade laundry detergent, as well...nothing has ever worked better to get the grime out.

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