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?