I’ve always hated to be wasteful. Despite the fact that I don’t like to waste anything, my household goes through more paper towels in a year than imaginable. I’m not sure why we use paper towels for everything, but we do. I don’t buy napkins. We use paper towels for all of our meals. We use paper towels to do all of our clean. I know that I should get some old T-shirts or rags to use for dusting and cleaning, but paper towels are so much more convenient and accessible. Unfortunately, my toddler is now dependent on paper towels to. If she is eating or drinking, she’ll ask for a paper towel in case a mess happens to be made. She probably doesn’t even know what a napkin is!
I remember being little and testing two brands of paper towels while my sister and I had a babysitter one night. I couldn’t tell you the brand names; I just know that we used six rolls of paper towels that evening. The babysitter was so focused on talking on the phone that she never seemed to notice. By the time my parents arrived home, our bedrooms and living room was covered in scattered paper towels. We were testing how much water they could absorb, how strong they were when dry and wet. Of course, once my mother scolded us, she wasn’t interested in hearing about how experiences had turned out. She was more interested in scolding the babysitter for not watching us more closely, than hearing about what a wonderful science project we had completely. New rolls of paper towels came out of our allowance that week.
Now that I’m an adult, you’d think that I’d be more practical about it. I know that I shouldn’t use paper towels for every single thing. If there is a tiny spill, I can’t use a towel. I have to use paper towels. It drives me crazy, but it is just something that I’ve always done and breaking that habit doesn’t seem to be working for me.
For a few months, I tried to buy generic paper towels. I figured that since I was using them so often, I could at least save some money. Getting a generic brand saved me a few dollars each week. But, before too long, I noticed that they didn’t rip apart too easily, often tearing where you didn’t want them too. They weren’t as thick and strong as brand names. I tolerated it for a while. Finally, I grew tired of ripping off a paper towel and finding myself holding several pieces. I gave up buying generic. At least if I’m being wasteful, I’m wasting the good stuff.