Happy New Year! There is just something about a new year, isn’t there? The dreams, the goals, the possibilities. Wondering what this year will bring, and looking back at how far we’ve come and how much has happened over the past year. I love the freshness and new beginnings that a new year brings, but I also know that somehow it doesn’t seem to last very long before things kind of slide back to the way they were before.
Baby steps, small changes; whether making a new year’s resolution, or just trying to make changes throughout the year, you know that you will always make progress when you take baby steps and don’t try to take on more than you can handle at a time.
That’s what the Simple Steps Series is for! The first Monday of the month we look at a small and simple step we can take, or change we can make, that will save us money and save the earth at the same time.
So far we’ve covered: saving water, changing our hand soap, turning off our lights, and lowering the temperature on our thermostats.
One of my themes for this month at Live Renewed is decreasing our disposables. So today, our Simple Step is a really easy one, but one that can help you to decrease the amount of disposables you use.
This month Simple Step is to move your paper towels to somewhere inaccessible.
Yes, that’s right, somewhere inaccessible. The idea is, if you move your paper towels to somewhere inaccessible and you move your cloth wipes and rags to somewhere more accessible, then you will be less likely to automatically reach for your disposable paper towels, and more likely to reach for your reusable cloths and this will help to form a habit of using reusable instead of disposable products.
When I was first starting to cut back on my paper towel use, to move toward going paperless in our kitchen and around the house, I moved my paper towels from the kitchen counter next to the sink, to a shelf in the laundry room, which was just off the kitchen. And then I moved my kitchen cloth, that I wanted to start using more regularly, to an accessible drawer.
So, when I needed something to wipe down the counters, or clean up a spill, it was easier for me to reach into my drawer and pull out a cloth, then it was to go into the laundry room and get a paper towel off the shelf. It was an easy way to wean myself off of using paper towels for everything around the kitchen.
If you already use cloth instead of paper towels, you can, of course, apply this idea to something else disposable around your house that you’ve been trying to move away from using, it can help you to come up with a reusable alternative and make a habit of using it.
Take the simple step to move your paper towels to somewhere inaccessible, and your kitchen cloth somewhere easy to access to start making the change toward using fewer (or none at all!) paper towels.
How do you plan to make simple changes to use fewer paper towels, or other disposable products, around the house!
Just in time (no pun intended) for the New Year, the great ebook Tell Your Time by Amy Lynn Andrews is on sale this week. Normally $12, it’s just $7 until January 7th with the code CLEANSLATE.
Over the break, my sisters and I went through Tell Your Time together, writing down and sharing our roles, our description of our roles, our activities and our schedules. It was fun to do it together, but also made us feel ready to tackle our schedules and make the most of our time in this new year.
If you’ve been thinking about being more productive, getting more out of your time, and setting up a schedule that works for you, this ebook will help you do all those things. It’s a quick and easy ready, but the printable charts help you to work through all of the information and make it applicable to your life. Download Tell Your Time today!
Also, thanks for sticking with me during my time away from my blog for the holidays. I had a great visit with my family up in Michigan, and actually, as of right now, my dad is doing better. When we visited the weekend before Christmas he was having pretty bad side effects from the chemo treatment he had earlier in the week that made him feel and seem much worse than he actually is. He has still decided not to continue with any further treatment and has entered hospice, but he most likely has a few more weeks left here with us than we previously thought. Thanks so much for all of your kind words of support and prayers.
I’m so excited for what this year is going to bring for this blog, and so thankful that you have joined me on this journey toward living green and living frugally. Please consider subscribing to e-mail updates, or in a reader, to be sure you don’t miss a single post. You can also connect with me on Twitter and Facebook!
Rebekah from Simply Rebekah says
I love the idea of limiting the paper I use in the kitchen. I even got some cloth napkins for Christmas that I can use for every day. However, there is one thing that I am always using a paper towel for: covering dishes that I’m heating in the microwave. What should I use instead?
When I’ve brought this up to some super cunchy folks they told me they don’t use a microwave. That doesn’t help me much! 🙂 I do strive to be green, but I’m sorry… I’m going to use my microwave.
I use my microwave too, although I do try to use it less than I used to, and I try to find other ways to reheat things, but sometimes it’s just so darn convenient! 🙂 My aunt was just telling me that she uses wax paper to cover her food in the microwave, I bet parchment paper would work too. The only problem with those is that they are still disposable, but they would work in place of a paper towel.
As a reusable alternative, you can get a round plastic cover to use to cover your food, I think they might even be called microwave covers. I’ve found them in the dollar section before at Target, or probably in the housewares section. Hope that helps!
You don’t have to buy a special plastic cover! Just use a plastic lid that’s the right size. One of my relatives uses a Frisbee! I have some lids that came from large, shallow containers of Chinese takeout.
Another option is to use a plate. Depending on the dish you’re heating, it may be better to turn the plate upside down.
This is such a great tip for changing habits! It worked really well for us when we used up a box of tissues next to the bed and decided to fill the empty box with scraps of cotton knit cloth that we wash and use again. We just had to make them convenient and try them to discover that they’re BETTER than tissues because they don’t tear or stick to you. We’ll never go back!
A friend was in our room and reached for a tissue and was grossed out and made fun of our thrifty, green ways “going too far”…but a week later, I caught him blowing his nose on my little purple-and-white-striped rag that he pulled out of his pocket, and when he saw that I’d recognized it he said, “These things are GREAT!!” 😀
Heather Novak says
How simple and small! Now my hubs is reading No Impact Man, he is even more with me on being greener. I have a rag drawer, but those paper towels….oh the siren song of disposability….under the sink they go! THANKS!
Emily @ Live Renewed says
Great! Hope it works well for you! Thanks for stopping by!