The other day, without really thinking, I tore something like… three paper towels off the roll to wipe up something on the counter.
Really? Yes, really.
I’m not really sure when it happened, but my consumption of paper has gotten a little out of control.
And paper is really a no-brainer, for the lazy (er… “armchair”)-environmentalist. It’s easier to deal with than plastic. So why not start here? Work our way up to the hard stuff.
Here’s my list. The big culprits. The paper I consume. How I want to change things.
- paper towels – Invest in a few more cloth kitchen towels (pre-owned, goodwill) and make nice with our sponges.
- napkins – Replace with a handful of cloth napkins (also pre-owned).
- coffee filters – Replace with mesh or a couple of cloth filters.
- receipts – ?
- toilet paper – Use less? Being paperless in this area is not practical for me at this time.
- cardboard packaging – Buy less of it to begin with.
The receipts I find most difficult. I work retail. When someone doesn’t want their receipt, it gets tossed in the trash bin, or I use it as note paper. Most places do not have the option to not print the receipt. I just want to make sure you’re aware of that. You don’t need to be rude to the cashier about it. I totally don’t care how “green” you are trying to be. Be nice to people, especially the people who do the menial jobs you are privileged enough not to be doing. Because guess what. Whether you like it or not, people are part of the environment.
To the point, though, angry-face over, what can I do with the receipts?
Here’s what I already do. Suggestions. Thoughts. Mull it over.
- When cleaning and dusting the mirrors, windows, and counter-tops at work, I use rags (donated by you, maybe, thanks!). I have suggested to my co-workers to do the same. Obviously I should be doing this at home.
- I’ve gone with the paperless option for the majority of my bills.
- I reuse mailing materials (correctly and safely!).
- I am constantly using scrap notepaper. I also use a lot of otherwise-trashy paper bits in some of my mixed media pieces and in my journals.
- I use reusable lady products, and could not recommend it enough.
There are some things I won’t make sacrifices on. Books, journals, writing letters (by hand, on stationery). There’s this weird controversy going around about books and being green. Um. I don’t know. I don’t get it, either. Literacy is power and it’s good for you. Read. Solutions? Libraries. Book swaps. Buying pre-owned. Sharing with friends. Sounds ok to me. I’m too worried about breaking an e-reader. I’m also broke.
So, talk to me. Help a girl out. I want to pick your brains.