If you grew up in the 60's-70's, you may remember seeing garbage regularly tossed out of car windows. Almost everyone did it and, while I don't recall my own family doing this, I was in plenty of cars when it happened. This seems unthinkable now. How could anyone feel this is ok? But many people did back then.
When Steve and decided to take our conscious lifestyle up a notch, the first thing I researched was paper towel replacements. We already used cloth napkins and have for years. We had replaced our synthetic kitchen sponges which are yucky germ homes but also send tiny bits of plastic into the water supply and onto cutting boards, etc. with reuseable sponges from Marley's Monsters.
Now it was time to stop our already limited use of paper towels. I borrowed the following
synopsis of the life of a paper towel from https://zerowastechef.com:
Chop down trees
Transport logs to the saw mill
Harvest scrap lumber from logs cut into rough boards
Transport scrap lumber to the paper mill
Run scrap lumber through the chipper
Add a bunch of water and chemicals to the wood chips to make wood pulp
Run the pulp across a bunch of screens to form paper towels
Bundle the long sheets into rolls of paper towels
Shrink wrap the rolls of paper towels in plastic
Transport the paper towels to the warehouse
Transport the paper towels to the store
Drive to the store to buy paper towels
Unwrap the plastic and throw it out or into the recycling bin because you’re in denial that that kind of flimsy plastic can actually be recycled
Use the paper towel once
Toss the soiled paper towel into the garbage
Repeat until the last tree falls
Who knew that washable flannel towels can be easily rolled like paper towels and stay rolled? You just pull one off the roll to use. We toss our used ones into a mesh bag under the sink for washing later. It is a lesson in mindfulness to see how many times we reached for paper towels. I notice now because I know I will need to wash them later.
So back to the garbage out the car window reference...now it actually hurts my body to throw something away. Tossing a paper towel into the garbage used to be an almost absent-minded practice and now it seems irreverent and irresponsible. Hopefully, this is the way it will seem to everyone in the near future.
Happy, mindful cleaning!