Switching to more of a zero-waste lifestyle can be daunting—especially when it comes to the kitchen. It’s the land of plastic bottles, Ziploc bags, and K-Cups, after all. But you don’t have to swap everything for more eco-friendly versions all at once. Just start with reusable paper towels and go from there.
I’ll be the first to admit I go through a lot of paper towels. I use one every time I dry my hands, whenever I’m cleaning, while cooking… the list goes on. Unfortunately, that’s not great for the planet: The United States uses more paper towels than any other country, and the Environmental Protection Agency revealed that results in 7.4 billion pounds of waste a year from paper towels and other tissue materials, like toilet paper. Yikes. The good news is there’s a reusable alternative that looks pretty on your countertop and is super easy to use.
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One of the most popular items from Marley’s Monsters, an Oregon-based company that sells handmade reusable and zero-waste products, are the UNpaper Towels ($16 to $54, depending on the pack size). They look and work like any other roll of paper towels, except they’re completely made of cloth. The towels naturally cling together, so when you have them on a paper towel holder, you can easily pull one off as needed. Then when it’s time to clean them, you simply toss them in the washing machine with warm water, dry them in the dryer, and roll them back up.
Giving up my beloved paper towels is going to be hard—I’m sure of it. But if I had reusable paper towels this pretty chilling in my kitchen at all times, I think I’d be okay with it.
For more healthy home inspo, take a look inside Karen Lord’s space:
Here’s how the next frontier of waste-free living is coming for your bathroom. Then grab one of these zero-waste toothpaste options to keep your pearly whites clean.
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