15 Simple Steps for Going Green in 2015 . . . Step 1

Wow, it’s June already…time to start making those New Year’s resolutions….  I know, I know you are saying wait, wait Amanda, are you crazy it’s June!

Well truth be told I normally wait until the beginning of summer to make my new year resolutions. Why?  It gives me time to think and plan outside of the holiday chaos and madness that ensues from October through beginning of January.  In June, things are warmer and moving a little slower (at least in the south), my son is out of school and it just makes perfect sense to me and works for us.

So, the question is . . . did you make a resolution to go greener in 2015?  Maybe you made a resolution to save a little green in 2015?  Whether you did or didn’t maybe now is a good time to make a few and simple changes, follow this 15 part series for my favorite list of 15 to kick off the New Mid-Year (or anytime of the year) Greener You.

  1. Ditch the Paper Towels:

Why Ditch the Paper Towels?  They are so handy and convenient, but did you know paper towels (even the recycled ones) are hefty contributors to global warming, deforestation and water pollutionSome facts about paper towels and napkins consumption and the environment are.

  • Paper towels have the highest environmental toll over the seven most common drying methods in public toilets – generating 70% more carbon emissions1
  • Consumers typically perceive recycled paper towels to be better for the environment. But in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) report’s researchers found that the environmental impact of recycled towels equals that of virgin paper towels in a number of environmental measures, including CO2 emissions and water consumption.1
  • To make one ton of paper towels, 17 trees are cut down and 20,000 gallons of water are consumed.2
  • Decomposing paper towels produce methane gas, a leading cause of global warming.2
  • In 2006 over 3,000 tons of paper towel waste made up over 2% municipal landfill waste.

Replace your Paper Towels Habit… My son and I haven’t purchased paper towels in over five (5) years.  We use rags from old T-shirts, worn out towels and facecloths.  What does it cost us?  About 70 – 76 cents per month for washing (warm water),
drying (gas dryer as our subdivision doesn’t allow us to hang clothes outside) and detergent (we make our own) which comes to a whopping $9.12 per year.  How did I figure this out?  Why Mr. Electricity of course!  Here is a quick comparison to paper towels, I picked Bounty at Amazon, (cost $29.89 with prime membership (free shipping) and a $2.00 coupon which covers the tax) for 12 count of white select a size with 210 sheets per roll so that is 2.49 per roll or 1.4 cents per sheet)  If you use only one roll per week (most families I surveyed in my neighborhood go through several rolls but use varies from household to household). That is $11.84 per month!  So what does that look like over the course of the year?  Let’s see.vs2

Paper Towels Rags
Brand Bounty at Amazon,12 count of white select a size with 210 sheets per roll old T-shirts, towels and facecloths
Initial Cost $29.89 12 count of white select a size with 210 sheets per roll Free
Monthly Cost $9.96 (1 roll per week) .70 to .76 cents to wash, dry and detergent
Annual Cost $119.52 $9.12
Net Annual Savings $110.42


Rag Image courtesy of antpkr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Question: What do you use in place of paper towels? Share your answer on Facebook or Twitter.