Green For Good

Friday, May 10, 2013
We've all been there: pushing your heaped cart out of Target and wondering what the heck happened. There appears to be a certain vortex effect inside Target which causes one to neglect their carefully planned out shopping list and start throwing things, willy-nilly into the cart. In those gleaming, red accented aisles, we're reminded of everything we need, (nay, everything we can not go on without!) and heck, the price is right so into the cart it goes.

Source: via Ada on Pinterest

After my latest trip to Target, as we heaped the shopping bags in the back of the car (thankfully I actually remembered to bring in my own bags this time, because what is it about Target clerks and putting two items in each bags to guarantee you come home with at least 10 Target bags? Is it some sort of brand loyalty building practice?) I decided it was time to reevaluate some of the household "essentials" that I pick up each time. (I don't even go past the clothes and shoe sections in Target any more - I know trouble lurks for me in the clearance racks.) It seemed like there must be a better alternative to dropping a couple hundred dollars at Target a few times a year on what are mainly disposable items: shampoo, paper towels, cleaning supplies, etc. etc.

The result of my analysis is that we're slowly shifting towards a more paper-free household. As someone who heats her home with wood, I feel no guilt whatsoever about lessening my dependency on the timber industry (don't worry lumberjacks, I'll always need you) and I don't think we'll ever be a completely paper-free/eco-friendly household - there will always be a roll of paper towels, some plastic wrap, and plenty of Ziploc bags in this home.

I finally broke down and bought a set of reuseable paper towels. I'm anxiously awaiting their arrival - she's so backlogged with orders there's an eight week wait!

After cleaning out my clothes dresser last month, I save all of my old socks and now use them for dusting.  Good-bye Swiffer duster refills. 

One bad habit we have is using Kleenex for napkins during meals. We eat every meal on the couch (the dining tables is covered with seedlings - don't judge) and since there's always been a box of Kleenex on the couch end table that's what gets grabbed when fingers turn sticky after a meal of tacos or burgers. The sad result is that we were going through a lot of Kleenex and sometimes didn't have them on hand when someone actually needed them to blow their nose.

I realized we could drastically reduce Kleenex use if I replaced the box of Kleenex on the end table with a basket of cloth napkins. I had enough flannel fabric hanging out in my sewing basket from a previous project to make 10 napkins. A simple hem and we have a soft, reuseable alternative to Kleenex napkins. Winning!

Speaking of Kleenex, I've always appreciated those who use handkerchiefs, but I've never much cared for blowing my nose in an almost transparent piece of cloth. However, these bamboo hankies look quite lovely and may be phasing out paper tissues in the cabin shortly. 

I've been using Pinterest to find simple recipes for homemade cleansers. FYI, steam cleaning your microwave by nuking a bowl filled with three parts water to one part vinegar for 5 minutes is way more effective and efficient than scrubbing it out with store-bought cleaner. You're welcome.

I hate the flimsy plastic produce bags you get in grocery stores and at long last, have my own reuseable produce bags! What does this mean? I will never waste another second of my life trying to open the !@#$% plastic bags at the grocery store. (All thumbs here.) Oh glory be! 

I've found a lot of "going green" inspiration on Etsy. I love the idea of reuseable recycling bin liners. Our recycling bin always looks like hell because I can't bring myself to replace the trash bag liner every time I take out the recycling. While I'll keep a disposable trash bag in the kitchen trash can for the time being, there's no reason why every other trash can in the house can't have a reuseable liner.

While the world greens up outside, it's nice to be making some green moves inside as well. (Sorry Target.)


  1. Oh my goodness! I love those cloth paper towels! So cute!!

  2. Great ideas! Love the Meme but seriously....$50? I never get out of Target for less than $100!

  3. HA, I'm with Michael Ann. The minimum balance is often $100 for me, too. Damn Target for placing the women's clothes and accessories immediately in front of the entrance. I hate how right they are about the effectiveness of that sort of placement...

    Great ideas here, though. I've never seen reusable paper towels before! The old sock as a duster is brilliant. And cloth napkins are WAY cuter than paper napkins anyway.

  4. I love your blog <3333333
    I live in Northern Minnesota too, in a cabin in the Boundary Waters! :)

    I wanna meet you sometime!

  5. Ha, I love that my cloth paper towels form Pinterest have found a way to become famous and loved! Going green is not hard - at least I didn't think so! But then I grew up cleaning my yogurt can before disposing it. LOL.


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