Since I have noticed a lot of bloggers talking about going paperless in their kitchens, I thought I would share with you my experience as well as the pros and cons from my point of view.
First, what do I mean by “paperless”? No paper napkins, paper towels or paper plates.
Next, what did we do to replace these?
We primarily used paper towels for serving lunches to the kids, wiping the counters with cleaner, and occasionally drying our hands. To substitute these, we use smaller plates for lunch, rags (old washcloths, towels cut down to size and such) for wiping counters, and hand-towels for drying out hands. I keep a bucket under the sink for my rags with the spray I use on the counters and a wire basket next to the sink with hand-towels.
Pros: Paper towels are expensive and this definitely cuts the added expense.
Cons: For us, I do not really have any other than I miss having them to help wipe out grease into the trash can. (Never put grease down the drain!)
These were used for giving the children a cookie and for meal mishaps at the dinner table. For many years, we have used cloth napkins and pulled these from the back of the cabinet to put them back in action at mealtimes. For cookies, we use small plates.
Pros: Hmmm… give me a minute and I will come up with something.
Cons: Added laundry in a house of five, soon to be six, is never wanted. Also, paper napkins do not cost that much if you get the inexpensive store brands on sale. Plus, I have noticed that our children ask for a napkin when they do not really need one. Waste! And, then, there are the small snacks like cookies. I really detest dishes so the napkins are a favorite for this use.
Okay, in all honesty we only use paper plates on vacation but I had to mention them since so many people do use them.
Pros: We are not spending money on paper plates. That’s got to be good, right?
Cons: This adds to my dish-dilemma. How much money does it cost to run a load of dishes? According to the US Department of Energy, it costs $4 to $5 in energy per month and about $4 per month for water. If plates take up 1/4 of my dishwasher space, then that means it costs me $2.25 per month to wash plates.
In comparison, a pack of 600 heavy-duty paper plates costs just under $15 or $0.025 per plate. So, you could use 90 plates for the same cost as the plates take up on your utility bill. For us, that would be 18 meals worth of plates. To use paper plates for just one meal each day for the entire month would cost us $3.75. So, is it worth the $1.50 investment to use paper plates? You make the call.