ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Green in a Throw-Away World - Part 1

Updated on July 2, 2013

It's Not Easy

Who said it better than Kermit the Frog, when he said, "It's not easy being green." I find it especially hard to be green while living in a throw-away world. I've often wondered if things (such as kitchen appliances) are made with a self-destruction program built into them; programmed to self destruct on a predetermined date (like the day after the warranty is over). Unfortunately most of us find, when an appliance fails, it is much less expensive to just replace it rather than to fix it. Who spends money these days to fix a gas grill? I for one, am trying my best to get back to the green, fixing era and get out of the throw-away era.

Finding New Ways

I am trying to find new ways to reduce my carbon footprint. I admit sometimes my changes are spurred strictly by the high cost of something. For example: I went to BJ's to purchase paper towels. I am smart enough to realize the "select-a-size" are only a good buy if you use one at a time. If using two at a time, they are actually bigger than one of the originals and thereby more costly. That was a good marketing ploy, perhaps even better than the razor theory. Make the consumer think that two equals one when in reality it does not.  I've noticed the price of paper towels creeping up in the last few years as has the price of just about everything.  When I went to buy them, I almost fell over at the price of $19.99 for a package that only included 12 rolls. Yikes! $1.67 per roll and it seemed we were using close to two rolls per week. (The rolls are MUCH smaller than they used to be.)

I'm neurotic in the kitchen when it comes to cleanliness. I wash my fruits and vegetables and dry them with a paper towel. I'm constantly washing my hands and drying them with a paper towel. Well, not any more. While at BJ's, I walked over to the automotive department and found they had 40 microfiber detailing cloths for $14.99. "Hmmm," I said to myself, "I'd be saving $5.00 and could I manage to use these instead of a paper towel? Could I get myself into the habit of grabbing one of these instead?" I knew the only way it would work, would be to place them directly under the papertowel roll so I would see them as I automatically reached for a paper towel. I am happy to say it worked.  For 6 weeks I used the microfiber. The only problem - winter! Because our hands were dry from Old Man Winter, the microfiber stuck to our hands.

I had already saved $5.00 and decided it would make sense to replace the microfiber with white cotton washcloths. Wal-mart sells nine utility washcloths for $3.00. I purchased 4 packages for a total of $12.00 and 36 washcloths. It was a good move; the cotton works better and because I bought white they can be bleached if necessary. They can be found in Wal-mart's kitchen department and are marked "9-pack Utility Dishcloths".  I've saved the microfiber cloths to use for cleaning.

For my fruits and vegetables, I now use cotton flour-sack, non-terrycloth type towels - the same towels I use when rising bread. I use those towels only for food. I can wash lots of fruits and vegetables before the towel becomes saturated.

Saving Both Earth and Money

I'm proud to say that my last  *kitchen paper towel roll actually lasted for three weeks and my new habit of using cloth instead of paper towels is here to stay! Doing the math: I would have spent $174.72 per year on paper towels for the kitchen, I will be spending $30.24 per year now saving $147.48 per year minus the $26.99 I spent on the microfiber/cotton washcloths is a net savings of $120.49! Not only am I helping to save the environment, I'm saving money!

*I still use paper towels to clean my bathrooms. I don't know if I could ever change that. The thought of reusing a sponge or rag to clean a toilet...ewwww!

Did it Work? Two Years Later

Two years later, I am happy to say, this has worked great for my family. I was even able to move the pile of cloths into a less-conspicuous corner and away from the paper towel roll. I will admit it's time to purchase a new set of utility cloths; these will soon make it into my 'rag bag.' $12 for two years - I think I got my moneys worth!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)