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. Emily said…
    I am the same- no paper and no dryer in my house. Our spare bathroom is my "dryer". I use the shower rod as a drying rack plus lots of those hangers with the clips on them. Obviously I should probably just move somewhere warm and have the benefit of the sun that makes me so happy and it drying my clothes outside! I know all the hanging clothes looks messy when people come over but it makes me feel good to save that energy. And although its a lot more work for me it keeps me more active. I also am an avid glass jar collector, anything I buy that comes in a jar (which isn't much since most of my food is perishable) I keep the jars and reuse them to freeze foods and stores bulk items. It works out well! And they look cute.
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      My dryer is a large drying wrack that I wheel over to sit under my fan. Dry clothes overnight.
  2. [...] contact Making Love in the Kitchen: The Blog « A Paper Free Kitchen [...]
  3. Heather said…
    I compost, use rags or hand towels or cloth napkins instead of paper towels, reuse containers, and use a vinegar/EO solution for cleaning every surface.
    • Erika said…
      What is EO in this context?
      • Whitney said…
        EO=essential oil
        • Erika said…
          Ah! Thanks. :)
  4. Heather said…
    Okay, and I'm following you and People Towels on Twitter and I've liked both of your fan pages. Woohoo!
  5. Ellen said…
    Save all vegetable scraps, fading herbs, free range chicken bones, etc. in the freezer to make stock. Then use it for soups, cooking grains, steaming vegetables, etc. It adds great flavor and a lot more nutrition than just water. Bone broths in particular are full of important nutrients.
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      I do that to- but without the bones as I tend not to have bones laying about.
  6. Lisa said…
    I'd love to more of an eco friendly kitchen. I do as much as I can to recycle or reuse materials and containers but would love to start composting so I can use all my scraps!
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      I would too. Not ready to have a worm box inside though
      • Val said…
        Garden Jane sometimes runs worm composting workshops - it's a good way to get started with worms.
        • Meghan Telpner said…
          I want to get started with worms- I just don't want them in my house.
  7. Lisa said…
    Fan of your awesome Facebook page
  8. Lisa said…
    Follow you on Twitter
  9. Katherine said…
    I've been wanting People Towels since I saw them at the Green Festival. I have a dryer but have not used it in over a year. I dry everything on a wooden drying rack. I'm slowly working on eliminating plastic from the kitchen (and elsewhere). I use glass to store food & take my lunch to work in a stainless steel tiffin. Luckily I live in a city that has compost bins. I hardly put anything in the trash anymore.
  10. Ellen said…
    i also follow you on twitter

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