Some months ago, when I was going through my eco-friendly phase, I thought about no longer using paper towels. After all, I was using cloth wipes with the baby, why couldn’t I do the same in the kitchen (I draw the line at toilet paper!)? That passed and it wasn’t mentioned again until a few days ago when Matt sent me an article about going paperless. I don’t know if he is interested in going paperless or if he just found the article amusing but either way, it got me thinking.
I’d be going green for green reasons…..dollar green. Don’t get me wrong, the environmental benefits are good but they are just the cherry on the top in my books. Paper towel is expensive and we waste SOOOO much of it. I am not one of those that uses one sheet, dries it up and uses it again. No, I use one sheet once and trash it…or throw it on the counter. I cannot tell you how many sheets of half used paper towels there are on the kitchen counter are any given time. These are mostly the ones we use to dry our hands with, not to clean up messes.
That brings me to my next point….we have a toddler; messes and spills are just part of every day life around here. I depend on paper towels to clean up the floors, the table, the kid, etc. I’m terrified of having to do this with cloth. Also, hand towels are very unsanitary since they don’t get washed every single time you dry your hands on them. They get used and reused and stay damp for a while. This is, I imagine, a breeding ground for bacteria and other nasties. I’m not a germaphobe but that concerns me, especially with the toddler (though he probably gets more bacteria at daycare).
How about for cleaning? It’s all good when you are talking about the kitchen but what about cleaning the bathroom (which DOES happen every once in a while 😉 )? I can’t imagine wiping the toilet with a towel and then washing that same towel with the ones I use to dry my hands! It may not be a problem at all as far as cross-contamination but it sounds gross on principle.
I guess the trick would be to keep separate cloths for different purposes but that doesn’t cover everything. Will the cloth used to wipe the toilet be used to wipe the sink, or the windows, or… , or… , or… at some point? Again, gross.
I do see the irony here though. I am worried about potentially cleaning the sink and the toilet with the same towel at some point but I quite happily wash dirty diapers in the same washer I wash my clothes (though not at the same time). I guess I’m, according to my own reasoning, walking around covered in crap every day. Come think of it….that sure explains a lot!