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Reusable Paper Towels Natural Home Zero Waste

How Many Unpaper Towels Do I Need?

May 9, 2020

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If you’re greening your home and are on the market for unpaper towels, you may be wondering: how many towels do I need? This is a good question to ask, so today, I’m going to go over unpaper towels, why you should switch to them, and what to consider when looking at the different sets available.

What are Unpaper Towels?

“Unpaper Towels” is the fun name given to simple cloth towels that are cut, used, and look like your regular paper towels. They can come in many different colors with rounded or sharp corners, and vary in all kinds of sizes. Some have snaps or velcro. Others include their own roll so you can still pull your towel from a roll just like you would with paper towels. This is to minimize behavioral change when making the switch.

I actually have a definitive guide to reusable paper towels over here if you really want all the info on these great zero-waste products.

Why even make the switch?

The thing about reusable towels is that they are much more eco-friendly and cost-effective. I have an entire blog article where I write about how bad paper towels are for the environment and how much you’re losing paying for them regularly. Why not lessen your overall house waste, have a safer (not toxin-laden) cleaner, and save money?

Reusable Paper Towels in black and white print

Okay, so how many unpaper towels do I need to start?

So now you’re really serious about making the swap, but may be overwhelmed by the choices out there. I will write about all the features available such as snaps or rolls shortly. But for now, let’s focus on the question of quantity. Unpaper towels dry quickly while being just as absorbent as paper towels. So keep in mind, it’s not one wipe and it’s time for the wash. You really only need a few available at any given time. A set of 6 to 10 is a great starting point to see if that works for your family.

I also recommend having 2 sets so you can alternate between them when one needs to be washed. It’s also a nice way to have the different decor in the house. I love the idea of seasonal towels or pulling out the fancy towels for when guests come over.

But for starting out, I recommend 2 sets of 6-10 towels. You may find this is all you need, or you may find you need another set or more in a set. Don’t sweat it, these are investments that save you money in the long run. Even if you make your transition slowly, it’s a great start- pat yourself on the back!

If you love this post and are ready to find your first (or next!) set of unpaper towels, see my latest Summer Collection.

Zero Waste

A Thrifty Skincare Product You’ll Probably Wish You’d Known About Sooner

May 5, 2020
White counter with skincare products. An easy swap to boost your skincare routine.

It is time to reevaluate what your household and skincare essentials are. Doing this means you may find eco-friendly alternatives to the items in your home that you’ve taken for granted, such as the humble cotton ball many of us use every day. Spend less money and contribute less plastic waste to the environment by switching to reusable cotton rounds. Here are a few reasons to sway you.

This Cotton Swap Is Better for the Environment

Cotton is considered the world’s dirtiest crop because of the number of pesticides used in growing it. Even worse, a lot of cotton balls are not made of cotton, but with polyester. This material is absolutely terrible for the environment because it is the source of microfibers (much like microbeads) found in the oceans. Whether cotton balls are made of cotton or polyester, or you’re using wipes, they aren’t helping in the fight against climate change. But let’s say you switch to an organic cotton balls brand. You are still creating demand for the labor and resources required to produce them and package them in plastic bags.

Reusable cotton rounds are not single-use products like cotton balls are. Typically they are not packaged with plastics. One single cotton round can be used a thousand times. In order to shift how we treat the environment, we have to shift our mindset with the things we use. We must get away from single-use items and invest in quality products built to last.

 

Reusable Cotton Rounds Save You Money.

Thrifty women know that even saving three to five dollars a month can add up to big savings in the long run. Even if you don’t save that five dollars, you can use that towards something better. And if you’re making other household switches to save money, such as with paper towels, you’ll realize that all of these zero-waste investments really start to cut the grocery bills down. I personally found this to be the case once I made some changes in my home.

So instead of buying $4 plastic bags of cotton rounds or makeup remover wipes every month, buy one set of cotton rounds to last you a year. Those are savings you don’t want to miss out on!

 

Pink and white striped cotton rounds

So Satisfying, You’ll Realize This Isn’t A Compromise

Like mentioned before, cotton is the most pesticide-intensive crop in the world. We take so much care to find pure, safe makeup products for our skincare routines. Why would we put carcinogenic pesticides on our faces?

Well-maintained cotton rounds are clean and durable. You won’t need to wonder about what chemicals it’s soaked in like you would with wipes or if you’re rubbing traces of pesticides on your bare skin. It’s transparent, safe material to rely on for a long time.

So for three good reasons, consider trying out a set of reusable cotton rounds. It’s a safer, cheaper, and eco-friendly option.

And if you need help finding a cute set that fits your personality, check out my Summer Collection here.

Reusable Paper Towels Zero Waste

Caring for Unpaper Towels and Reusable Cotton Rounds

May 3, 2020
Caring for unpaper towels isn't hard. Pictured is a beautiful white kitchen.

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Many people worry caring for unpaper towels or reusable cotton rounds is complicated or easy to mess up. I found that it’s a little hard to find reliable, straightforward information on how to do it. So I’m here to give you the easiest to follow instructions that you’ll probably only need to read once before you feel confident!

And to let new readers know, I’ve also written other posts about unpaper towels. Such as why you’d ditch paper towels in the first place and how many towels you may want to buy. Check them out!

Caring for Reusable Paper Towels Are Worth It

Unpaper Towels and cotton rounds will shock you with how much more absorbent and softer they get with every wash. The increased quality with use is one of the neat things about them. So if you are less than impressed when you first get them, you may want to withhold judgment until one or two washes.

Do This Before First Wash

I suggest you give them a quick wash once you get your unpaper towels or cotton rounds. If they are dark colors, you may need to wash them alone the first time- just in case of any colorfast issues. However, you could check with the shop you bought them. They may have already pre-washed them for you.

Before Washing Your Washable Cotton Rounds and Towels

If you were wiping up particularly gross, sticky, or oily messes, you might want to rinse with hot water before putting them in the washing machine.

How to Wash

If your towels have any snaps, be sure to unsnap them. The best advice is to wash them with like colors- whether clothes or other towels. Wash on average or gentle with any mild soaps or detergents. I’d suggest cold to warm water temperature.

If you want to be extra careful in caring for unpaper towels and cotton rounds, you could wash them in mesh bags. Mesh bags are incredibly helpful for towel sets with velcro and cotton rounds!

How to dry

You are OK to dry in the dryer. Medium heat or tumble dry is probably best. Quality towels and rounds can withstand some wear and heat. You can leave out to air dry as well.

Is There Anything Else I Need To Know?

Allot for slight shrinking in your first washes. You can also iron them on medium heat to smooth out wrinkles.

I hope this helps everyone needing care advice with these great zero-waste products. Take care of them, and they will last a long time! Think of all the plastic and paper you’re not throwing away now!

And to buy luxury cotton rounds and washable towels, check out my Summer Collection here. If you’re wondering if they’re right for you, hop over to my favorite jam-packed knowledge base on reusable paper towels here.

Zero Waste Natural Home

6 Ways to Reduce Kitchen Waste for your Green Home

May 1, 2020
Reduce kitchen waste. Beautiful white kitchen

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More and more households are starting to find ways to reduce kitchen waste. Global climate change is an enormous concern for all of us. It’s more important than ever to start making changes in our own lives to help minimize our carbon footprint. It doesn’t have to happen overnight, or be expensive or difficult. Slowly transitioning into one swap or adopting one practice at a time can go a long way. Here are 6 ideas to get you started.

DISCLOSURE: This post contains an affiliate link to Blueland, a cleaning products brand. This means that if you click on my link to make a purchase, I will get a small commission at no extra expense to you. You can read my Disclaimer and Privacy Policy and Blueland’s FAQ for more details.

1. Compost Food Waste

Composting sounds scary and complicated. But just think, your grandparents may have done it. Mine did. It’s a long-time practice that is hugely beneficial to the earth. In fact, the EPA found we could save 20%-30% of food waste from the landfill by composting. There are kits on Amazon for as cheap as $20 that can get you started. If you have no idea what you’re doing, don’t worry. There are composting communities on Reddit and Facebook ready to help.

2. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle to Reduce Kitchen Waste

This is a wildly important and yet only about 34.7% of Americans recycle, despite the vast majority support recycling. We need to start making it more of a part of our lives. Purchase two garbage bins for every room: one for recycling and the other for garbage. You’d be surprised how many recyclables you may be missing in rooms outside the kitchen where people most often do separate garbage from recyclables.

There tends to be a lot of confusion what your city may and may not recycle so it’s best to ask them directly. Call, email or visit your county’s recycling or utility authority’s website. They should be able to give you a complete list of recyclables and non-recyclables.

3. Buy in Bulk and Switch to Products with Less Packaging

Pantry staples such as canned food, rice, and beans can all be purchased in bulk. This reduces the amount of packaging required. Other things to try to buy in bulk: soap, white vinegar, trash bags, dishwashing detergent, coffee, butter, nuts/seeds, and dry pasta.

There are more and more products in the market or online with subscription services that use less packaging. I like Blueland’s cleaning products since you buy your spray bottles and soap dispenser once. Then you only need to buy refill tablets.

4. Eat Less Meat

This bears mentioning as an indirect way to reduce kitchen waste. I can write a book about the impact our meat consumption has on the planet. It is the number one cause of rainforest deforestation and the endangerment of certain wildlife, notably the orangutan. This is to house and grow feed for the cattle. Think of the sheer amount of grains and water it takes to feed billions of livestock meant for slaughter. It’s a huge waste of resources since we could feed more people if we ate less burgers. As Cornell put it: US could feed 800 million people with grains livestock eat.

It pollutes more than all of our methods of travel combined- that’s cars, trains, and planes. Factory farms are breeding grounds for the next superbugs, and these plants particularly affect marginalized communities. I don’t need to mention the egregious animal abuse practices of factory farms and slaughterhouses. The cruelty alone should urge us to eat less meat. Not to mention, you’ll probably save money and reduce your risk for heart disease.

Glass containers to reduce kitchen waste

5. Use Up Your Plastic Containers then Switch to Glass

Don’t throw away your plastic food containers yet! Once they are worn out it’s time to invest in glass containers. They will last you much longer and make better storage for food. Plastic is a terrible vessel for food. It can make your food taste funny and has a risk of containing BPA and other toxins.

6. Switch to Unpaper Towels

I’ve written before about how paper towels are detrimental to the environment. To create paper towels we have to cut down trees, transport those trees in large trucks, manufacture them in large polluting factories, wrap them in plastic and transport them to stores for us to buy them. It’s a lot of resources to use for convenience! Compared to washable kitchen towels, it’s barely a convenience. The level of care for reusable paperless towels is minimal. You’ll be saving money making the switch since you’re buying them once rather than buying paper towels again and again. If you want to learn more about them, check out my best guide to reusable towels here.

Unpaper Towels in black and white print

Where can you buy unpaper towels? Glad you asked! Check out our All Things Grow Collection to find the best unpaper towels on the market. These designer unpaper towels are hand-crafted and complement any kitchen decor, since they are designed with trends in mind. Don’t just tolerate the eyesore that is paper towels. Decorate your kitchen with soft, durable fabrics that serve you and your family.