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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Update On My “No More Paper Towels” New Year’s Resolution

It’s been about 6 months since I’ve given an update on my 2015 New Year’s resolution, so I thought it was time to check in! For those of you who don’t know, each year I choose a New Year’s resolution that is related to food or the kitchen that impacts the environment in a positive way. This year my goal was to stop using paper towels. So, how are we doing? I have had several friends and family members ask with a skeptical voice if we are really doing it and if it’s actually going well.

my 2015 new year's more paper towels!

It’s going great! Honestly, it hasn’t been hard at all. The big stack of Ikea towels I bought have worked wonderfully, and my system of having the bin of towels accessible in the kitchen and then hooks close by (for hanging after use) works like a charm! (Click here to read more of the details.) Everyone in the family is participating and following the plan. The key to success has been accessibility. The towels are at everyone’s level and in the center of things. The hooks are nearby for the dirty towels. I don’t have any extra laundry, the towels just go in with everything else. I am really happy with how well it has worked out!

As for cleaning, I have mostly moved away from paper towels. I still use them to clean the toilet, along with bleach cleaner. I haven’t been able to switch over to a towel for that task, despite my aunt telling me it will be fine. She has a designated towel for the toilets, with a T in permanent marker in the corner and she says it works great with her environmentally-friendly soap. One day maybe I’ll take the plunge. (Not into the toilet, just into cleaning it differently.) Toilets aside, I no longer use paper towels for any of our cleaning. I purchased high quality microfiber towels and, not only am I not using paper towels, I use less soap. And it’s faster and easier! (I’ll share the towels I bought in a separate post down the road.)

There is one more thing that I still use paper towels for – draining bacon. I should be able to come up with another way to do this, but I really like patting the bacon dry with a paper towel. If anyone has suggestions for this, let me know!

So, have we completely given up paper towels? Not quite, but almost. We hardly ever use them, just for toilets and bacon. And my life is not any harder. In fact, cleaning is easier. I am so glad I finally pulled the trigger to make this goal a reality in our home!

If you’ve been trying to cut back on paper towels, let us know how it’s going and please share any tips that have been helpful with your implementation!


  1. 1
    Amy P

    I’ve never been much of a paper towel user, mostly because I was raised that way and never thought to change it. But like you, I do use them for toilets and bacon! Can’t think of much else.

  2. 2

    I have used brown paper bags to drain fried foods.

  3. 3
    Nikki CB

    Nice work, Jane! We’ve stepped backwards in this regard unfortunately. I was raised without paper towels for the most part and didn’t use them as an adult for many years, but now we do! I’ll have to do some rethinking…..

  4. I am also trying to stop using paper towels for cleaning but it is so easy to clean with them! Thanks for the post!

  5. you can do it! 🙂 I was the same way, I just didn’t think I could give it up…but I swear the towels are just as easy 🙂 thanks for commenting and you’re welcome for the post!

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