Want to make your kitchen more eco friendly? Use these suggestions to start a paperless kitchen!
Having a paper-less kitchen may seem like a new eco-friendly concept but really if we think about it, it’s a very vintage idea.
Women in the past had less disposable options and were also interested in saving money and resources, especially during the Great Depression and WWII.
Being wasteful was very frowned upon until the post-war area when convenience become more popular. This concept came from marketing aimed at making people better consumers.
Now we know all of this consuming is having a harmful impact on our planet and our pocket books. However, we are now so used to the convenience of these disposable products we aren’t even sure how to stop using them.
Several years ago I started learning about being more aware of my impact on the planet. I also wanted to save money for my family. To help with both of these things I have made my kitchen basically paperless.
When people learn I don’t keep paper towels or napkins in my kitchen they have many questions and concerns.
Doesn’t it waste water to use cloth napkins and towels?
Not at all.
Water is used in the making of disposable products so even if you do need to do an extra load of laundry you are still better off but I personally haven’t had an increase in laundry. My rags and cloth napkins go in loads I’d be doing anyway.
But cloth napkins are so expensive! They can be but I only have one nice set I save for rare occasions, otherwise we use very cheap cloth napkins I got on Amazon.
What about really gross messes?
If I need to use a rag to clean up something really gross I either use one that is full of holes and is on it’s last leg or just soak it in some hot water and vinegar for a bit when you are done before putting it in the wash.
Trust me, your family isn’t going to die from that dirty rag!
What about greasy food?
Interestingly this is just about the most common question I get. I take a splatter screen like you would put over a pan while frying something and just put the food on there for a bit with a plate on it. Most of the grease will drain off.
Really the hardest part of a paperless kitchen is getting into the habit of reaching for cloth napkins and rags. Once it’s all a habit it’s simple.
We do keep a roll of paper towels in the house but I very rarely use it. If it was just me it would last many years. My husband uses them a bit more, normally for things in the garage so we go through one or two a year. Other than the random napkins that end up in the house from other places we never buy paper napkins.
Have I convinced you to give it a try yet? These five easy tips will help you get started.
- Get a couple of sets of cheap cloth napkins. If you sew you can make them very easily as well. Pro tip- buy dark colored napkins so you don’t need to worry about stains. Restaurants often use black for this very reason.
- Flour sack towels are a must. They are great for putting over drying dishes, covering rising dough, and other times when you need the towel to be lint free. You can get new ones but you can also often find beautiful vintage ones. Vintage linens are a great way to have unique towels and it’s even more eco-friendly.
- Put towels in multiple places in your kitchen. I like to have at least one by the sink and one on the stove. This will make it easier when you need them.
- Stop throwing out old cotton t-shirts! These are by far the best rags you will find. And when they start to wear out as rags, throw them in a bin for those really gross messes where you just can’t make yourself keep the rag.
- If you keep a spare roll of paper towels, just in case, make sure they are kind of hard to get to. This will make sure you only use them when you really need them. If they are easy to get to, old habits can sneak back in.
Also talk to the older women in your life. They likely have great tips for how they used to do things before paper towels and napkins.
Sometimes new isn’t better and we can always learn from the past.