I missed Wednesday again this week. I don’t know where the days go right now, but I did get to see what the Change The World Wednesday (#ctww) challenge was and it’s something that is very do-able: banish paper towels and napkins from your life!

The challenge to banish paper made me smile and it makes total sense. And I thought ‘This one’s going to be tricky’.  Small and the gang have been such a joy to read when I do catch up with them, I’m being so inspired… but straight off I knew this week that I couldn’t do it.

So, fabrics and doing without is the call. I’ll certainly think twice in future at a restaurant, it hasn’t really crossed my mind til now so I’m pleased that already Small and the #ctww crew are helping me as ever. When I started thinking about it, I wondered whether recycled kitchen roll and paper was actually more eco than cloth?

Cloths are more durable but they need to be washed presumably adding grease and food dust plus shudder germs to the water course. Whereas if I use paper on grease, I fold it inside out dip it in some seeds and leave it out for the birds. I spritz my kitchen and bathroom with eucalyptus  or peppermint oil and wipe it off with kitchen roll, which is then composted along with tissues and also when I finish my windows, after a quick clean with white vinegar and newspaper. I wasn’t quite sure tissues were ok for the compost but my friend Clara does so I’ve started composting them too.  I use recycled paper to clean the bathroom along with a plastic scourer and white vinegar and borax. It’s static cloth dusters for furniture already.

I’ve always liked the thought of buying bulk to reduce my footprint and often choose fairly-traded and 100% recycled paper products at a vegan wholesalers, I’m not sure if at Lembas they sell cotton/fabric products in bulk but it’s worth a look.  Cotton, that wonderful material, isn’t grown in the UK – something I keep being asked about my NEAT bags (another blog!) – so then paper produced by sustainable timber and recycled helps keep our flailing forestry industry moving (gosh only knows our trees need help). Don’t get me started on toilet roll produced from intensive agri-timber, though – loo rolls should all be recycled paper, trees are so important! While I’m all about increasing the UK’s lamentable native tree cover, I just can’t reconcile the idea that it’s ok to grow trees just to turn them into toilet roll (it just offends me; I can’t help it.)  But anyway…  cotton is also recyclable of course, and hemp and bamboo fibres are making great cloths. But then, recycling does use a tonne of water; ah doesn’t the initial paper-making process too?

Hmm.  Still, I’m enjoying channeling with the #ctww crew towards Small’s way of thinking. So yep, a little late perhaps but challenge accepted! I could probably do without paper napkins and I can use less rolls. Problem is, I’ve just bought 100.