June 12, 2008

Throw in the (paper) towel

In honor of elephant’s Summer Green Issue, I am going to suggest a simple way to become greener—give up paper towels. Perhaps many of you out there might have already, but I know that the majority of my devoted readership (hi mom! hi dad!) have not. And most of my friends have not, though many consider themselves green. Last week Target was having a sale on commercial washcloths, $8 for 30 washcloths (They also have inexpensive organic cotton hand towels). When the universe makes it that easy, there are no excuses. I have replaced my napkins with these washcloths, and I have also started cleaning with them. I also plan to take a cue from the restaurant Burnt Toast on the Hill and cut up old T-shirts, just as soon as I get my hands on a good pair of scissors. I do not recommend trying to cut up old T-shirts with anything less than a really sharp pair of scissors, as I now have to get my hands on a good vacuum to get up all these little cotton fibers from my carpet. In case you do not know if your scissors are sharp enough, here is a quick test. If your thrift store scissors predate you, they are not. Luckily, the whole shirt is more or less still intact and ready to be turned into dinner napkins and hand cloths.

So do it. Give up paper towels. It is not as hard as you think (minus the scissors).

Okay, I lied. I am not cutting up an old T-shirt; it is a new T-shirt. I won it at a concert a month ago and it is U-G-L-Y. My wallet was also stolen at this concert. But now I have turned a shirt with a bad memory into a positive lifestyle change. So go into your closet and grab that ugly shirt your Aunt gave you for your birthday/Hanukkah/Christmas or your ex-boyfriends T-shirt you used to sleep in (live in the present!). And if you have impeccably stylish relatives or happen to be on good terms with all your exes, there’s always Target.

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