How Do You Live Without Paper Towels?

Photo: @rawpixel

Before we left for our travels, we would have friends over every Thursday for dinner. It was an awesome time to get together and catch up while the kids ran around and had a blast.  It was during these weekly dinners that our friends came to understand our crazy zero waste ways. They laughed at our foggy water glasses as I fooled around with DIY dishwasher detergents and remarked at the lack of suds in my latest batch of dish soap.  One such change that caused a few shakes of the head from them was doing away with paper towels.

What do you do when you spill something on the floor?  Need to wipe your child’s face or wash a window? Ok, side note.  I literally just had to Google, ‘uses for paper towels’. Honestly.  We don’t use them any more. Sure we have a roll under our sink, but that’s been there since BEFORE we left for our trip almost two years ago now.  I think the only time we use them is when we make bacon and need to sop up the grease, which is rare.

So what do we use instead of paper towels?  Rags, dish towels and sponges. That’s it. Like so many zero waste swaps out there, it isn’t about re-inventing the wheel, but rather it’s about asking yourself what people used before that thing was invented.  It’s going back to a simpler time. We keep under our sink a basket of rags for mopping up the grosser messes, washing windows and general cleaning. For all else, we use the dish towels or sponges. It’s simple.  

Disappointed?  Thought I’d throw something sexier at you?  Something fancy? Sorry.

Still hooked on those paper towels?  Can’t imagine life without them? Some clever folks have started making “unpaper towels” to substitute for paper towels.  These are essentially cloths than can be washed and used again and again.

Here are a few you can check out:

These are just a few that are out there. A quick search on Etsy will reveal many, many more.

Of course, you can always make your own too!

As usual, there are no affiliate links here.  Just our opinions!

Main photo credit: @rawpixel