Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Disposable Mania

I keep getting annoyed at these paper towel commercials on the TV. "Soft! Just like a cloth! You can wring out and keep going until the job is done!" OK, then why not just use a dishrag? I didn't even know people would use paper towels like dishcloths until the idea came to me from these commercials. That absolutely makes me sick with how much waste that is! I hardly ever use paper towels, though I admit with having a husband who is a hunter and fisherman, there are those times when only a paper towel will do. However, we go through maybe one roll every two months or so.

There are far too many disposable products in this world. I'm shocked every time I see an ad for a new type of disposable product. When is enough enough? Will we soon be wearing disposable clothing? Babies wear disposable diapers, you can wash them up with disposable wipes, and if that's not enough, there are disposable washcloths for bath time. My mom actually got a disposable soap a couple of years ago-- the soap is in a disposable mesh thing. Not a lot of waste, I admit, but there is still some. At least it smelled really yummy, like raspberries. Almost anything in this world that gets yucky in any way shape or form, there is a disposable alternative for that item. Yes, I've used my fair share of disposable products (I went thorough a short-lived swisher stage in college, or maybe it was the early years of marriage, I can't remember-- those who have been to my home know it had to have been short lived!), but I can honestly say that I've used far fewer disposable products than the average American mother and housewife.

I'm still holding on to a couple disposable items, however. I'm not going to give up toilet paper very easily. We have plenty of band-aids on hand for life's little boo boos, which happen frequently when you have a 2 and 4 year old. During allergy season, Puffs Plus with lotion makes my life much easier than any hankie could. We do use some paper products when we have large gatherings at our home, mostly because we don't own enough plates for everyone to eat off of. I need to figure out an affordable solution for that one. And we don't have camping dishes yet. Bad!

Overall, though, I've been making a conscious effort to reduce my waste and the amount of disposable products we use in my family. We have switched to cloth napkins, handkerchiefs and grocery bags most recently. I'm trying to see what other areas I can switch to a non-disposable alternative. I next want to work on making non-disposable produce bags, and figure out an alternative to plastic zip top bags. I use a lot of them, though I reuse them if they're still good, but about half of them end up with holes in them so I've got to figure out something else. Maybe a bag made from PUL with a clear vinyl slot to stick a piece of paper in for a contents label? But that wouldn't work for everything, and it would only work if I could get it air tight. Rubbermaid doesn't work for much of the wild game stuff that Dave brings home, either, so that's out. It lets in air which allows freezer burn and doesn't fit well in our freezer, which has limited space due to the amount of meat we end up with every year. Anyone have any ideas? I'm starting to think there is no good alternative in these situations.

PS-- in the last post, Dave wanted you all to know that he was the videographer, not me as the post implied!


Les said...

Those paper towel commercials always bugged me too, but now that we don't have TV, we don't have to suffer through commercials. But I'm missing the Olympics. So sad.

Brightonwoman said...

There is a lady on etsy (she's on one of my teams...I could find her if you are interested) and she makes washable cloth swiffer pads. She said they're her biggest seller. LOL!

Kevin and Lynne Smith said...

Recently, I saw in the Family Fun magazine a going green article that included replacements for any size ziploc bag. They can be laundered in your washing machine. Give it a look!!!