Friday, April 4, 2008


Where does all of our trash go? I started thinking about that on my walk with my dog. As I walked through the neighborhood, I saw trash thrown into the grass, on the street, etc. As long as it is out of our sight, we don't really think about it. Our community has a trash pick up two times a week. And at each trash pick up we always have our "fair share" of trash. We should not have that much trash. So today I decided to do something about it. I thought about how I could eliminate the amount of trash our family produces. I would start with paper trash. Our paper trash is huge. I would say we go through 2 rolls of paper towels and 1 bag of 250 napkins a week. Waste. Waste. Waste.

So, today, I went out and bought 50 terry towels and 36 cloth napkins. The terry towels cost me $12.99 total. I go through 2 rolls a week, so these will pay for themselves in a little more than 6 weeks. I spent $44.00 on 36 napkins. I should recoup this cost in just 13 weeks. Although I didn't do this for the cost savings, I like that I won't have to buy them anymore.

I am trying to brainstorm more simple ways to reduce trash, perhaps look for food co-ops where I can buy in bulk and not use packaging. That may be a bit more difficult.

Does anyone have ideas for eliminating trash?


CT Mom said...

Hi Sharon - great green idea ... a good friend of mine is a SAHM with 4 kids (her husband is state trooper) and was using cloth dishtowels and napkins to be frugal. I guess she was ahead on the green curve, too!

Jennifer said...

Great idea Sharon! I have been thinking about making the switch too. I'm looking forward to hearing how it works out for you.

Clean ClutterFree Simple said...

We're a cloth napkin family too. I picked up most of mine at the thrift store--I figure if they still look in good shape when they arrive at the Goodwill, they'll be good for a while to come!

Here, we can compost paper towels with our yard waste, so while we still use them for certain messes, I don't feel too bad about it. I always keep a dish towel handy to dry hands and pick up most spills in the kitchen.

Sharon said...

I didn't think about thrift stores, I happened to be out at Tuesday Morning (a store that takes rejects from other stores) and found these beautiful 45% cotton 55% polyester napkins (restaurant quality). I figured a little more than a dollar for each of them was okay. They were originally 14.99 for six at Linens and Things.

Composting is what I want to do next. I have to research it, however, because I have no idea what I'm doing :)

Canadian Saver said...

Oh you will definitely save now!! I love the idea of those terry towels, I will look for those.

We generate too much trash too... I don't have many tips. Our community has us divide into wet and dry, so a lot of the stuff is recycled at the waste facility at least.