Giving in to Paper Towels

| 1/14/2009 4:17:10 PM

In mid-September, I took the eco-challenge and eliminated paper towels from my apartment. Just a few weeks ago, I wrote about my recommitment to greening my life.

Today I'm writing to say, with a shameful look on my face, that I broke down and bought paper towels last weekend. But, as I am with any purchase, I have some justifications for my decision.


Photo by tom.arthur/Courtesy flickr

First, the reason I broke down and bought paper towels was simple: I needed to wash my bathroom mirror (with my Seventh Generation cleaner), and the cloth I'd been using was leaving streaks. Normally, this doesn't bother me that much (I've been doing it for a few months now!), but I've been having company over a lot lately, so I wanted everything to appear clean. Because I don't have a subscription to a newspaper (I read online), I couldn't use the old school newsprint and cleaner trick to wash my mirror.

This led to a complete breakdown, so I headed to the nearby CVS and grabbed a package of CVS Earth Essentials paper towels. The paper towels are made from 100 percent recycled content with 60 percent minimum post-consumer recycled content. The paper towels are recycled without chlorine bleaching and are distributed by CVS in Rhode Island. The sheets are the multi-perforated, select-a-size kind, so I can use small sheets for small cleaning jobs. Pretty good green credentials, right? The only unsustainable aspect of these paper towels is the plastic packaging used to keep them clean.

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