Jun 122011
 

towels

It is easy to save money in the kitchen through following the examples of our ancestors. Before paper towels were invented, people would use cotton hand towels to clean messy spills in their homes. In 1931, Scott Paper Company created the first roll of paper towels for use in the kitchen; however, people successfully cleaned spills in their kitchens with bath towels, or soft pieces of terry towels, long before this date.

In 1931, when the first paper towels were introduced, the public scoffed at these frivolous fineries that would create ongoing unnecessary expenses in the home. The act of buying expensive paper sheets to throw away instantly was a luxury that most homes could not afford while their sturdy Egyptian cotton household towels would last for many years. The general public did not embrace the use of paper towels until after World War II.

Modern housewives are misunderstanding the term: kitchen rag. When World War II drew to a close, women were working in war-oriented establishments. As the men came home and retrieved their jobs, females remained employed outside of the home. Many believed that there was little time to hand-wash their messy cloth kitchen rags; however, most people do not hand-wash their bathrobes, bath mats or towels today.

Historically, women did not use rags in their kitchens. Most women took pride in the appearance of their homes and used brand new eco-friendly cotton towels to mop away household spills. Thrifty housewives would purchase one large bathroom towel, tub mat, or absorbent waffle bathrobe and cut these items into sizes that worked for their cleaning needs. Luxurious Turkish bathrobes/towels or kids robes became the new cleaning rags.

Women would keep their soiled kitchen rags in a covered bucket or jar of soapy water that was kept under the kitchen sink. The strong soapy water allowed the towel to refresh between small kitchen uses. Today, many households spend $5.00 each week on rolls of paper towels that are not necessary. Organic cotton spa towels, bathroom towels or hand towels can be used to replace a paper towel habit for hundreds of dollars in savings.

 

Mar 172011
 

towels

Hand towels and kitchen towels are coming back in style, thanks to advocates for a greener planet. As one towel design company reported recently, 3,000 tons of paper towels are used each day in the United States alone.

What kind of environmental impact do those 3,000 tons of paper towels have?

Consider that for every ton of paper towels, 17 trees are required and 20,000 gallons of water are used. Try to sop up that water spill, quicker picker upper! Meanwhile, those used towels quickly wind up in the garbage, then into a dump or into a landfill. As paper towels decompose, they release methane gas. Although methane is less well-known than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, some scientists say that too much methane is actually more worrisome than too much carbon dioxide when it comes to the problem of global warming.

How many paper towels do you use?

If you’re like most Americans, you’re using about 3,000 paper towels (that’s towels this time, not tons) just at work alone. That doesn’t count the number of towels you’re using at home.

“But I use recycled towels.”

Good for you! That’s an excellent start, but even towels made out of recycled paper are still responsible for the release of chemicals into the environment, gas into the atmosphere, an extra use of energy, plus more water.

Maybe you should switch to hand towels?

Reusable towels, such as hand towels for your bathroom, kitchen towels, and worn out towels for cleaning purposes, stop the problem of paper towel waste before it starts. Plus, using real towels instead of paper towels will put money back in your pocket as you stop using roll after roll of paper towel.

As you switch over to real towels at home, maybe you can convince the people you work with to switch to real towels at work. A pack of hand towels can be found at a cheap price at most stores. Replace the paper towel dispenser with a basket of hand towels, then add a laundry basket to the office bathroom. It will look better than paper towels, be less noisy than hand dryers, and best of all, you’ll be doing something good for the environment.