Back in October, I wrote this post about wanting to do a better job of making environmentally conscious choices. We are making small but lasting changes to our habits.
I started actually thinking every time I would grab for a paper towel or plastic, how I could make a different choice. There are still a couple of instances where I need to use a paper towel (like soaking up the grease from bacon or sausage), but I've really eliminated a lot of their use and we use cloth napkins instead. And we have lots of reusable things for covering and saving food so I can use those instead of foil or plastic wrap.
I've also stopped lining pans with tin foil when I cook something. I would do that to make clean up easier, but most of the time it's not necessary and if it is, parchment paper works just as well (although I am still trying to limit use of that too).
Then I realized that I do a good job of using reusable items at home, and then I'd get to work and use a ton of paper towel, even for something dumb like carrying my hot dish to my office to eat my lunch. So I started bringing a tea towel or cloth napkin to leave at work for the week and use it for various things and then bring it home at the end of the week to wash. I also bought a reusable mug for when I want to buy a coffee downstairs and I won't have to use their paper cups.
Another simple thing is bringing a water bottle with me when travelling. As long as it's empty when going through airport security, it's fine, and then you fill it up on the other side. This really cuts down on having to buy water wherever you go. And when you're at a hotel, it's so much nicer to drink from a big bottle than their little (sometimes plastic) cups.
We also got some Norwex cleaning cloths from my mom for Christmas and we can dust and clean the mirrors with these clothes (rather than using paper towel as we used to do), and they use just water, nothing else, so that's a bonus. She also gave me some cloths that remove make up and mascara without using a cleanser, and they work really well too.
I know we still have a ways to go, but small steps are better than nothing! Any other tips out there?