Friday, November 12, 2010

Weekend Reads: Green Gifting and Living

The other day Lisa (from Karma Per Diem) and I got talking about paper towels, or rather "unpaper towels". It made me realize we have made so many changes in our lifestyle in the past few years, and they have become so ingrained, that I often forget to even mention the options to others. I don't just mean re-using cloth bags at the grocery, rather, thinking beyond to all we dispose of and consume.

So, first, The Wish List:

Unpaper towels are just the beginning. Unpaper towels are, really, no more than a washcloth, an old shirt, a birds eye cloth, or whatever you might prefer in place of paper towels. Our kitchen came equipped with a three can trash unit - we use one for trash, one for recycling, and one for laundry (unpaper towels, cloth napkins, kitchen towels, rags for the kid's face/hands). Works easily and perfectly, doesn't add any more work than the normal kitchen towel laundry, and it saves a ton of trash and money. If you are interested in unpaper towels here are some options you might like to peek at:

These natural, unbleached, organic cotton, heavy duty paperless towels from GnomeClothes are a steal at $15 for 12, and if you get more these are discounted. An excellent choice for a starter set.

Made in the Red Barn offers a beautiful array of colored paperless or unpaper towels as well as attractive holders (like shown above). What would be more attractive on your counter - a tube of paper or a handcrafted box? Just a thought.

While you're looking at paper towel alternatives check out "wrap mats" and reusable snack bags as an alternative to zipper top bags for your lunch. The one above is from One Pink Ladybug, who carries both items in a variety of colors and patterns.

Are you still stuffing your resuable shopping bags with produce in plastic bags? What about reusable produce bags then? Eco Bags has a large assortment of options. They are easily washable and easy to transport (I stuff them all into one bag and pop in my reusable bags).

I'll admit I was not the first person you would ever expect to like shampoo bars. I was highly skeptical. I got a free sample and it sat in my cabinet for months. Months. I finally tried it. It.was.amazing. Amazing! I love these cucumber mint shampoo bars from Country Soaps by Marlene (or here). I've never even tried another because I love it so much. It smells amazing, doesn't make my hair too dry or too oily, and it is cheap. Four bucks. Serious as a beans in your chili. Stocking stuffers anyone?

Now, The reads:

DIY gift wrap on all sorts of repurposed and pretty packages on Style Me Pretty (an oldie but a goodie!). There are 3 posts from this series. All gorgeous, all worth a read: The above DIY, wine bottle gift wrap, and more inspiration with a download!

From Green Your way we have: Baby Steps for Going Green in the Bathroom

How about body products?

Or are you thinking of doing homemade and handmade holidays this year? Here's a great guide from PoppyTalk.

When those holiday cards start rolling in the ubiquitous Martha has a bevy of crafty reuses for you as well.

What else can you do:
  • Buy used, repurpose and repair what you can.
  • Reconsider water-added products like dishwasher, laundry, and body soaps. It takes a lot of water to make these products and a lot of fuel to transport the now heavier and larger product. You can save money, water, and space by using powdered soaps or alternatives.
  • Switch your paper products to cloth - paper towels, napkins, even toilet paper if you are adventurous.
  • Recycle your unwanted household items and textiles by donating them to charity, giving away on freecycle, or selling – keep as much as you can out of the landfills.
  • Don't get overwhelmed, even small changes help. Change those light bulbs one day, maybe switch cleansers the next week or month. You don't have to do it all at once, but do something.
If you've got a great green idea or product let me know! I would be happy to consider highlighting any solutions and love to hear new ideas!

Happy weekend everyone - enjoy and protect the world around you!


Brandi said...

I love this post. I can't tell you how happy I am you stopped by my food blog (pizzelles) and left that lovely comment. I really want to try using unpaper towels but I'm curious: does it generate very much more laundry for you to do every week? And the gift wrapping is wonderful too.

Tricia said...

Hi Brandi - Nope the laundry work isn't much more at all. Mostly, I think, because you need so much less when you use cloth (as opposed to paper). Just be sure if you only do laundry once a week or so to let the cloth dry before you toss in the laundry - we often just drape the damp ones over the side of the trash/laundry can until dry (otherwise you might get a mold problem). That isn't to dissuade you - they really are awesome and easy!

Sandy a la Mode said...

love love love the SMP packaging inspiration!!

Anonymous said...

I love those unpaper towels! I saw those somewhere else, and I was thinking about buying them.

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