The Struggle to Go Green Around the House

When asked what I do around the house that is environmentally friendly, I can rattle off a list of things that include recycling, using biodegradable products, the new fancy light bulbs, and several other things. Then I was asked about my paper towels…Gasp! I still use paper towels??? Of course I do! I have a toddler!! I use a lot of paper towels…Oh wait a minute. I get it. For as much as I try to say I’m “green”, I’m a hypocrite for using paper towels (ok, a lot of paper towels).

We also have lots of old towels and linens around the house. In fact, I have the towels that my Mom bought me when I graduated high school many moons ago. We use them as dog towels mainly and they take up space. Extra old towels are stuffed in the closets and under the sinks. There is even a hamper full out in the garage. For some reason, my husband can’t stand to part with them. He thinks we might need them some day.

Then the idea hit me that I could try to put those towels to use. I tied an old pillow case to a hanger in the coat closet and filled it with the remnants of the old towels and washcloths. Now when I need to dust or clean up a spill, I try to remember to reach for the towels in the closet instead of the paper ones. It is easy to do for some things like regular cleaning, but when my son spills juice down the front of him and yells “Mommy, I need a towel!” I tend to run for the disposables.

Another disposable issue in my home is the use of the glass and furniture cleaner wipes. I swore I would never purchase them because they seemed like they were so wasteful! On a whim, I picked up a package of glass cleaner wipes at the store and tried them out. Though I am embarrassed to admit it, I really like them! They are perfect for things like my computer monitor and the top of my printer where I don’t necessarily want to be spraying cleaner. I do try to be prudent in how often I use the disposables.

Like most things in life, there has to be a balance. My balance is between convenience and being environmentally conscious and as soon as my toddler stops trying to wash his toy cars in apple juice, I’ll give up my paper towels.

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