The Paper Towel Challenge...Are you up for it?

With each meal, with each spill, with each wipe of the hands - We used to grab a paper napkin or paper towel and throw it away.

How many of you do this as well?

In casual conversation at our local library Mother Goose Time, I was speaking to a mom about cloth diapering.  She stated that she didn't cloth diaper, but she was doing her part by using cloth napkins instead of paper towels.

Whoa!  Why hadn't I thought of this earlier?

I headed to Target and bought some white terrycloth napkins that we would use for napkins, for paper towels.  In addition, I also purchased some microfiber cleaning cloths to use for spills and the general cleaning of the kitchen.

How long will we last? We've been doing it for 2 weeks now and we've only used a couple of paper towels - and that was because we didn't want a certain "gook" on our napkins.  We haven't changed the roll in over a month now!

In addition, with our current giveaway of repurposed and reclaimed cloth napkins, we are trying to do our part in helping the environment - in changing the world - a little bit at a time - one household at a time!

Could you survive this challenge?  Join me now!  Let's save the landfills.

Here are some great resources to purchase cloth for your home:



I love it! I'm moving into a new place in two weeks and I plan on having a fresh start with changes such as this! Thanks for the post!

Frugal Science Gal
Amy Walker said…
We've been doing this the past couple of months. I'm making "not paper towels" out of flannel. I know it's unnecessary since you can just use regular kitchen towels but it's fun to have something to fill the unnecessary role of paper towels. :) It just makes so much sense..doesn't even add significantly extra laundry!
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We started doing this in April. I actually just posted a follow up to our no paper towel initiative earlier this week. I haven't bought any at all since April. It's great!
RenderMeMama said…
I have survived this challenge for over six years! Six years of not buying any home paper products except toilet paper (yeah, NOT going there). My family thinks I am nuts. They insist I "can't parent with out paper plates" but I HAVE and its GREAT!

Once you get used to it, its a lot easier to use cloth napkins and cloths than it is to remember paper products. Its also a lot easier on your wallet.
CraftyMummy said…
Thanks for the inspiration! I still have a pile of cloth nappies from when my kids were babies, so I could easily chop them up and use them now.
Awesome! We mainly use cloth in our house. Just a napkin here and there for dinner time...mainly b/c I have not gotten around to making dinner napkins. For regular use, I just made extra baby wipes for cleaning faces and small spills - my boys call them wet wipes - it's cute that it's all they have known and it makes me feel good that we are being smart AND saving money. I can't stand paper towels any more. Funny the things you cling to, then give up, then cannot imagine paying money for again! :) Thanks for the post!
Anonymous said…
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lisad33611 said…
I love this challenge. I'm working on stocking up on reusable cloth napkins so we can stop using paper towels all together.
We rarely use them, and if we do we compost them. I have a big old drawer of dishtowels. I don't like terry cloth since they leave streaks. I don't use them for cleaning, either, I cut up old white tee shirts to use to do windows and mirrors and stuff
A long time ago I picked up a bunch of sets of cloth napkins from the thrift store. We use them with our meals :)
Anonymous said…
Growing up, my mom knew how to cut corners. A family friend had a print shop and they would have "goofs" of wedding napkins. We used thousands of these at family dinners over the years - it was funny using fancy napkins with strangers names & typos! Now mom uses cloth napkins my grandma picked up on clearance over the years while working at a department store. We sometimes use paper towels here for the really icky stuff but use a lot of rags. My kids are older, so not that many napkins. For my lunches at work, I am going to start using bandannas that were $1 each at WalMart for cute prints plus I had a few already. I chose dark colors so stains wouldn't be a problem! Also I'm following several school lunch blogs and trying to have as little trash as possible.

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