Eco-Challenge Update: Eliminating Paper Towels

http://www.motherearthliving.com/Real-Beauty/Eco-Challenge-Update-Eliminating-Paper-Towels.aspx

After being paper towel-free for two weeks, I now own eight cloth napkins (to which my friends exclaimed, “Wow, these are fancy” on girls’ TV night) and six kitchen towels. Previously, I only had three kitchen towels that were more for decoration or hand-drying.  

Every week, I try to change out the kitchen towels, and this has encouraged me to keep up with my laundry (I’m very bad about letting laundry pile up). My only complaint is when I’m cooking something germy (eggs, raw meat, etc.), I always tend to splatter some on the floor or counter and wipe it up immediately. 

My solution? Soak the cloth in hot, soapy water and then hang dry. This cures my inner germ-freak. 

What I want to know now: Is it even necessary to purchase recycled paper towels? Which is better—spending the extra money for something recycled but still disposable or using the extra water to wash the reusables? Do you consider it “extra water” use if you’re throwing it in the regular wash? 

Thanks to everyone for the wonderful, encouraging comments! Stay tuned for the next eco-challenge…

Do you have an idea for an eco-challenge? Leave me a comment and your most daring challenge!