Welcome to Day 13!
When I did my bin audit, the second biggest waste item (after chocolate bar wrappers) was single use paper towels and serviettes. I’d just moved house, blitzed my flat with cleaning products to de-germify the space, and considered that the paper towels were probably too chemical laden to compost.
What’s the alternative?
1. Make the switch back to hankies, reusable cloths and rags. I know what you’re thinking – isn’t that germ laden and gross? I grew up with them, you probably did too, and in the name of progress and cleanliness I ditched them as soon as I left home. Today’s challenge is to challenge that assumption – and don’t worry, I’m right here with you! Let’s just give it a go. So long as they’re washed regularly, they should be just as clean as the clothes we wear. It’s not an old fashioned practice – it’s vintage! And vintage is so hot right now.
2. Use a non chemical cleaning agent, such as vinegar, so that you can compost your existing paper towels – when you get to the end of the line, stop buying them!
3. If you’re out at a cafe and you’re offered a serviette with your cutlery that you don’t intend to use, just politely decline and tell them that you don’t need it. If it’s already prepped on the table then it will only be going in the bin afterwards, whether it’s used or not, so take it with you so you can put it to use. I’ve used serviettes in lieu of paper towels and probably prolonged the life of my toilet roll by several packs just by using the serviettes that would otherwise have gone to waste.
4. If you have certain chemical products that you need to use with paper towels – or you just can’t give them up (no judgement!) – switch to a recycled product. Who Gives a Crap do a great range of toilet paper, paper towels and tissues and donate 50% of their profits to build toilets around the world while they’re at it – get involved at this website: https://au.whogivesacrap.org/
5. Good luck!