Sunday, August 2, 2009

Paper or Cotton?

My vote is for Cotton!

I keep a pretty green home and operate in a green way. It stems back to the late 60s and 70s when I was in the environmental club in high school. Then of course it continues with my common sense and bottom line approach to life. Did your mom often say "waste not, want not"? For me, that was mom, grandmoms,dad and grandpa's, teachers and all those adults that helped shape me in those tender young years.

Facts - Paper towels were invented by Arthur Scott in 1907 because of a mishap in a delivery of paper. Today 3,000 tons, that's 6 million pounds, of paper towels are used by 90% of US households EACH DAY. Make this easier - based on the number of households in the US, average weight per roll, it equates to about 8 rolls a week. A roll of paper towels costs somewhere between 80cents to $1.40. A cotton cloth towel costs somewhere between 49cents and $2 unless you need the designer kind. The later can be used over and over, while the former is a one time use.

Fast forward - when the nieces and nephew spent time here last month, we went through a learning process. First of all, I don't own any paper napkins - you must use cloth napkins. Not that kids use, or think of using napkins, it's better than using your sleeve or forearm. Cloth napkins work better and don't cost me anything.

Then there was the struggle to grab for the paper towels. In my home it takes probably two-three months to go through the roll in the kitchen and almost a year for the roll in the laundry. I'm not a fan of paper, though it has it purpose and as I write this blog I can't think of a reason? I have a stack of cloth towels for the kitchen. I bought batches at chain discount stores over the years. Then my niece was talking, using her hands(it's a family thing) she knocked over a full glass of drink, twice mind you. I grabbed several cloth towels and we mopped it up. The towels were rinsed, set to dry, and then were washed on laundry day. Each day or so, I take out fresh ones and retire the soiled ones to the laundry. Simple enough.

My environmental friends can add on to the amount of trees to be saved, water, electricity and poluntants that would not be emmitted we we all lessened the use of paper towels. What about you? Paper or Cotton? Make a difference, save a few bucks, it only takes one more person to continue to make a difference for all of us.

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