Save Money, Help the Environment by Choosing to Use Cloth
Many people have already taken the commonly suggested tips to replace their light bulbs with compact fluorescents and lower their thermostats in the winter. They are keeping their car tires properly inflated and unplugging small appliances when not in use. They are ready for the next step toward a more eco-friendly home. Eliminating disposable paper products and going to an all-cloth kitchen may just be the next step toward living a greener life.
Small Start for Big Change
Choosing an all-cloth kitchen is not hard to do. It does not require a big investment. But it can make a big difference in an annual budget that uses paper plates, paper towels, paper tissues, and paper napkins. It can also reduce the environmental impact and paper footprint a household makes.
Replace Paper Napkins
Replacing paper napkins with cloth napkins not only helps the environment by eliminating paper waste, but it also adds instant glamour to the dinner table. Using cloth napkins instead of paper napkins is easy to do and saves money. Cloth napkins can be purchased to match the kitchen dï¿½cor or they can be purchased at thrift stores. Cloth napkins are among the easiest sewing projects for beginners. Simply sew two pieces of fabric right sides facing, leaving a hole for turning the fabric. Turn fabric through the hole so the right sides face out and sew up the hole. Viola! Cloth napkins for the entire family can be stored in a pretty basket on the kitchen counter or in the old paper napkin holder.
Replace Tissues with Cloth
Eliminating paper products can also mean giving up tissues at home. Handkerchiefs and bandanas work well as tissues and can be purchased for very little money. Some people use old fabric scraps as tissues and then discard the scraps after each use.
Replace Paper Towels for Hand Drying
Paper towels are used in several different ways in the household and there are a few products that can replace them. Many people use paper towels to dry their hands or dishes. Hand towels and dish towels are inexpensive or available at the dollar store and add a certain amount of charm to a kitchen.
Switch to Microfiber Towels
Paper towels are commonly used for cleaning up spills and doing general housecleaning. There is no need to use paper towels for these tasks anymore. Microfiber cleaning towels are revolutionary products that are excellent for both tasks. Microfiber towels hold many times their own weight in water. They can be rung out in the sink and reused for heavy spills. They also attract dust, gently scrub countertops and walls, and clean glass without streaking. Why spend money on an 8-pack of paper towels each month to do these jobs when microfiber towels work even better?
Switch to Baby Washcloths
Parents with small children turn to paper napkins, paper towels and baby wipes to clean children after meals. Baby washcloths are the perfect replacement for using paper products to clean children. Baby washcloths are a common baby shower gift but they often go to waste as the baby grows. Put baby washcloths to good use in the kitchen by washing hands and faces after messy meals. Baby washcloths are much softer than paper products. They are inexpensive and don’t take up much room in a kitchen drawer.
Caring for Kitchen Cloths
Kitchen cloths add a little bit of laundry to the household each week, but they can all be washed with regular loads. Simply throw all the kitchen clothes in the washer with regular towels, and wash on hot, and dry in the clothes dryer or on the clothesline. Some fancy cloth napkins may require more gentle treatment, but cotton fabrics hold up well with very little extra care.
Choosing to eliminate disposable paper products and going to an all-cloth kitchen is a small change that can have large rewards. Not only does an all-cloth kitchen save money every month by eliminating purchases of paper products, it also helps the environment by reducing paper waste. It may also pave the way toward considering using cloth diapers or family cloth.