Monday, July 06, 2009


Yesterday Rhonda discussed disposables as she continues with her simple home audit. This is an area I can definitely improve on.

We currently use paper towels, paper plates, zip-loc freezer bags, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, coffee filters, toilet paper, tissues, and sanitary napkins.

Things I am currently doing:

~ Slowly transitioning from sanitary napkins to handmade ones. It takes some getting used to, but the handmade ones are much more comfortable.

*This post caused my shift in thinking about disposable napkins.

** I purchased a sampler set of cloth napkins from Amy's Rag Bag.

~ Use old rags for cleaning.

~ I don't use much aluminum foil or plastic wrap (the plastic wrap can be eliminated because I hate it), so I will continue to use foil.

~ Toilet paper & tissues are a must, so they will remain.

Areas I need to improve:

~ Put my canvas bags in the car so I don't forget them while shopping.

~ Stop buying paper plates & just wash the extra dishes.

~ I mainly use paper towels to drain cooked hamburger, so I need to figure out another way to do so without the use of paper towels.

~ Zip-loc bags are used to repackage meats in smaller portions, but I could buy wax paper & butcher's paper to wrap meat instead which would reduce the use of plastic.

~ Try to find a reusable coffee filter to fit my coffee pot.

~ Buy or make cloth napkins and dishcloths/towels.


Sandcastle Momma said...

I quit using paper towels and plates last summer and like you wondered how to drain fried foods (hamburger, fries, etc)
I take my cake cooling rack and put it on a cookie sheet. Grease drains through onto the cookie sheet while the food stays on the cake rack. Some of the browned hamburger will slip through but the majority will stay up on the rack.
Giving up paper plates was really hard to get used to but once I did it wasn't bad.

Jenn@Spejory said...


I am also trying to do away with disposables. I have a hard time remembering to take my canvas bags in the car when I shop. I tried leaving them there all the time and that seems to help.

Would you mind sharing where you got your sanitary napkins, or did you make them? I tried a Diva cup but it's too pinchy and doesn't stay in place for me (if you don't mind me sharing that much).

Rhonda in OK said...

Hi Tracy
I drain my hamburger with water.
While it is just cooked and very hot, I cover it with hot water from the faucet and then drain it through the garbage disposal. I do this several times until I can't see fat in the water.
I think it gets off more of the fat this way.
I cover the pan with a lid just slightly off while I drain it. And I use a potholder on each side to hold the pan and the lid in place.
Hope this makes sense!

be sure to run more hot water down your sink so the fat does not congeal and clog your sink. Mine never has - even when we lived in the country and did not have a garbage disposal.

about the coffee filter - our pot came with one. Jeff is a really good sport about me saving money but he did not like it, said it let too many grounds go though. So I still use paper ones, but I am very careful to always seperate them and use only 1 at a time.

sarah haliwell said...

I have been knitting a whole bunch of dishcloths which work much better than paper towels. I currently use my plastic shopping bags for rubbish bags, but really ought to change to the cloth bags. I want to get some cheesecloth for wrapping picnic sandwiches too. So many things we can do. You have great ideas!

By the way, don't be too sure about toilet paper. Plenty of people use, or have used in past centuries, rags ... some cultures even use shells!!!

Sheila said...

I never worry about coffee filters as they will compost along with the grounds and making your own compost is the best! Paper plates are another issue I don't get upset about anymore - like disposable diapers - the fuel consumption to heat the water and the volume of water used to clean regular plates and cloth diapers acceptably is as environmentally impactful as the volume of waste, so it's a wash.