Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How to Add a Little Bit of Sustainability to Your Kitchen

It drives me up the wall! Watching someone spill a drink and then grab a couple of paper towels to sop it up from the floor or table. So imagine if every time someone spilled something, you would go outside, find the nearest tree and hack a limb off... This will never work and it doesn't matter if it's recycled or made of hemp or whathaveyou. There is no need for this. It's just a very wasteful habit created by industry adverts and laziness and it's time for us all to get over it. Paper towels are useful, but in the running of a kitchen you need them for very little and can do without them totally. They cost you money that can be better spent as well.

How to use little to no paper towels and napkins? Pretty easy! Get some dish towels and inexpensive linen napkins. If you have some old bath towels these are fantastic to keep around for bigger disasters. You'll likely rip them in half or thirds to make them more manageable. When something spills reach for an already dirty dish towel or one of the big disaster towels instead of that role of dead tree. When it's soaked, wring it out over the sink and go again. If the stuff you are mopping is staining, then dry and save it for an appropriate laundry load. Your disposable paper usage can be cut to nothing in an instant.

The only thing I use a paper towel for is to wipe my iron pans clean using oil and salt. Even then I tend to use about a quarter of a sheet. Fabric towels can not not be effectively cleaned after this process without unreasonable effort. Everything else is a job for fabric, washable towels. After a little while you will get the hang of it and realize that it is pretty simple. You'll have your new towels, your salty veterans and the lowly floor cleaning towel that you don't like the guests to see. If you don't have a washroom, keep a bucket under the sink to drape the towels over allowing them to dry and you'll never find them mildewed or stinking.

Good Luck!

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