Saving paper is one of the easiest ways to save both trees and money as you’re redefining normal on your path toward sustainability. Some of these changes are difficult to get into at first – for some reason we have a mental barrier against making these types of changes. But once you’ve passed that initial barrier, it is extremely easy to get used to using cloth.
10 Ways Cloths Can Save Paper and Money
- Handkerchiefs – instead of paper tissues. Quick tip: if you’re going to buy handkerchiefs, try to buy ones that will look ok to you without ironing – it’s a handkerchief after all!
- Cloth Napkins – instead of paper napkins. There is an elegance that cloth napkins add to a meal as well! Again, make sure to buy napkins you don’t need to iron – 100% tight-weave cotton seem to work best for us.
- Rags - instead of sponges or paper towels in the kitchen or around the household. Make these out of old worn towels – if you don’t have any old towels, you can find some in a local thrift store.
- Kitchen towels – instead of paper towels.
- Cloth Diapers – instead of disposable paper diapers. There are so many diaper services now, that if you don’t want to clean them yourself, you can just send them out to be cleaned! However, if you can handle doing it at home it is sooo much cheaper!
- Glad Rags or Luna Pads – instead of menstrual pads. You can read more about greening your cycle here.
- Cloth wipes – instead of toilet paper. While I have not yet been brave enough for this change, Crunchy Chicken is full of cloth wipe challenges to get you started on the path.
- Dusting Cloths – instead of paper towels. You can use the special microfiber dust cloths (I have some of these), or just cut up an old t-shirt or cloth diaper.
- Cloth Bags - instead of paper (or plastic) bags. I wrote about how to make these very easily here.
- Cloth wrapping paper – instead of paper wrapping. I have loads of cheap scarves I’ve been collecting over the years from thrift stores. Several times I’ve wrapped gifts or flowers in old scarves and given them away – it is a beautiful wrapping paper that can be reused over and over again!
Many times using cloth instead of paper ends up emoting a feeling of nostalgia for older times. That rag that used to be your favorite beach towel, that handkerchief that used to be your grandmother’s, the dusting cloth that was once your husband’s favorite t-shirt or your grown child’s old infant blanket…. So come, try it out!
I’m sure several of you have more clever ways to save money and paper – please share.