I saw an article in Good Housekeeping on the subject of recycling in latest issue, and one topic caught my attention: "Smart Ways to Reduce and Reuse." In particular, the first item in this short list of eight suggestions talked about microfiber cloths. The article stated that one such cloth, before it needs to be replaced, can take the place of sixty rolls of paper towels. Did you hear that? Sixty ROLLS. Even if that's an exaggeration, that's a lot of paper towels we could save by using one of these cloths instead. The last time I bought paper towels, I noticed they are getting quite pricey.
I'm glad I read this article because it reminded me that perhaps I overuse paper towels for too many things. So I went and dug out the package of microfiber cloths I bought a good bit of time ago at BJ's. It was a pack of 25 and there are a bunch of them still left. So far we've just been using them for dusting and washing windows, but there are so many more uses. They are washable, absorbent, and gentle. They can be used wet or dry. Here are ways you can save on paper towels and save a few trees:
1. Cleaning windows, mirrors, and glass doors. You usually don't need a spray cleaner with them, another savings.
2. Gentle enough to use on your eyeglasses. Cut one up and make it smaller.
3. For dusting, of course.
4. Absorbing spills.
5. Wiping counters.
6. Washing the car. Polishing the car.
7. Cleaning the computer screen, glass surface on copiers, etc. and cleaning your phones, ipods. They don't scratch these surfaces.
8. Cleaning most of your appliances without needing to use abrasives or cleaning solutions.
9. Haven't tried it but I'll bet they're good for polishing shoes.
Got any other suggestions? Let us know! Oh by the way: Cutting up my husband's old white cotton tee shirts works good for a lot of these uses too! A friend of mine swears by cut up tee shirts for cleaning her eyeglasses.
Also on the subject of saving trees, the article pointed out that we could save on paper by not being so quick to print out a page when we could just jot it down on the back of something that we've already printed. Also, we could cut up once-used printed sheets and use the backs to write down notes, keeping some handy near the computer or telephone. Or use the backs for shopping lists. Hey, use them for paper projects for the kids, too!!