Sunday, July 05, 2009

Biggest Kitchen Table Home Audit - Disposables

Today Rhonda talks about reducing the use of disposables, all the paper and plastic disposable products which we bring into our homes.

This is a area where we have actually done well. I still have three of the six-pack of paper towels I bought last summer. We use cloth napkins at meals, cloth rags, a sponge, and a lamb's wool duster for cleaning, a mop with a washable cloth pad and even cloth wipes in the bathroom. No more toilet paper. We keep toilet paper on hand primarily for guests. Tony uses cloth hankies but I rarely need a tissue so I use toilet paper to blow my nose. We bought a 12 pack of TP six months ago and I think we've used half of it.

We carry shopping bags and woven cloth produce bags which have a drawstring top, so we don't use plastic grocery and produce bags. The only place we accept plastic bags is when we go to WalMart, because we need some plastic bags to bag our garbage. Since composting and recycling we end up filling around two small shopping bags a week with garbage for the dumpster.

It goes without saying that we use no paper/plastic plates/cups etc. I wash and reuse "zipper" sandwich and freezer bags until they are really beyond hope. Hardly ever use foil, don't own a roll of waxed paper. I save usable glass and plastic jars and containers. Some of the plastic containers go to a non-profit which fills them with cleaning supplies and ships them to hospitals and clinics in Africa. I pack bulk and dried food in others. My bulk-bought staples of sugar, oatmeal, etc. are packed in large recycled peanut butter jars.

I'm not sure what else there is to eliminate. I am unhappy about the number of food products which come wrapped in plastic, but I don't buy as many of those as I did, and some of them get reused, refilled at the bulk store because of the handy "zipper" tops.

Hooray! Finally an area I can shine in - and it's in the "throwaways". LOL


Rhonda Jean said...

Great work, Deb. I found it very interesting to read about your endeavours. Keep up the good work and take care, love.

Anonymous said... when you cut into an onion but don't use the entire onion what do you do with the onion for storage?

Deb said...

Glass jar or Glad reusable plastic container or plastic bag (washed and reused after the last half onion lived in it for a day or two).

Durable plastics I am not pitching. I'm just trying not to bring home the use once and toss kind. :)