A paperless kitchen?

August 3, 2012

I read a blog a couple of years ago from The Art of Simple on How to create a paperless kitchen. I really thought that it was helpful, but I just didn’t see how I could make it work! I have plenty of towels, but with a cat, sometimes I just don’t want to mix post-litter-box-cleaning hand drying and food drying on the same towel – you know what I mean?

Paper towels make up a huge portion of the paper market, second only to toilet paper. According to Ecology.com, world consumption of paper has grown 400 percent in the last 40 years. Now nearly 4 billion trees or 35 percent of the total trees cut around the world are used in paper industries on every continent.

But I have started to take small steps. I now reserve the thinner tea towels just for drying fruits and vegetables, whereas before I would go through 5 or 6 paper towels per meal just drying off zucchini. I also buy recycled paper towels or brands that offer smaller sizes to be torn off, reducing our usage because we only use half a paper towel at a time. For napkins, I only buy 100% Post-consumer waste (PCW). Recycled toilet tissue is a hard change, so I’ll leave that one to individual preference.

For printed paper, be sure you are looking for paper suppliers that offer at least 10% if not 50% or higher PCW and are FSC Certified.

I recently purchased a box of tissues from Lowe’s Foods (where I get 5 cents for each reusable bag I bring) and noticed they have implemented environmental standards to some of their paper products.  I tracked down the FSC Certificate and found that it was valid and registered to an organization called Clearwater Paper Corporation, with a paper-making location right here in North Carolina. Seems like a good choice to me!

Jen at Pin-n-Tell blogged about her conversion from paper towels. Won’t you take the pledge, too?