Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Paper towel dilemma

I know that the title of this post really drew you in. I thought of calling it "paper towel emergency" to really get your attention. But, that would have been disingenuous as I don't have an emergency on my hands but I do have a true dilemma. And, dear readers, I am confident that you can help me out.

I've blogged before about the various ways we are trying to be more green at home. And, really, so far it has been easy. Reusable shopping bags? Check. Green cleaning supplies? Check. I even told you about how we have stopped using paper napkins and paper towels. (Abel has finally stopped adding paper towels to the grocery list and Lucas knows exactly where to go to get a new cloth napkin when he needs one. He, Lucas, that is, does occasionally try to use the table cloth as a napkin which I really can't blame him for as we do have some matching sets!)

But, here's the thing: there are some times when I really, really need a paper towel!

First, to microwave bacon. I always layer a few paper towels, bacon and a few more paper towels on a plate in the microwave. Works great. How do I do this without paper towels? I mean, we don't eat a lot of bacon, but I did recently make Surburban Bliss's recipe for spaghetti carbonara (totally delish!) and needed some bacon. I was reluctant to use rags for the layering so broke out a few of my fancy paper napkins--you know, decorative cocktail napkins--which I simply can't resist buying on clearance at Target. They worked okay. Definitely not as good as paper towels and besides who wants to waste nice napkins--even clearance priced ones--on bacon grease?

Second, to keep herbs. Rachel Ray taught me that the best way to keep herbs fresh in the fridge is to wash them, pat dry, wrap in a paper towel and store in a zip lock. But, my definition of being green means no paper towels and no zip lock bags. What am I to do?

The only solution I can think of is to keep one roll of paper towels high up in my cabinets to use for occasional and specific purposes like these. Are there other options I'm not thinking of?

Have you run into any dilemmas like these as you try to be more green?


  1. I understand that you have made some green commitments, but if you used ONE ziplock bag for Herbs and just ket reusing it, doesn't that still count? Rachel Ray's herb-storage method is the best I have found. I suppose some tupperware containers might work too?
    Also, congrats on being paper towel free! I can't say the same, but it isn't for lack of trying.

  2. I agree. I still haven't gotten rid of using paper towels completely. We use zip lock bags as well, but we constantly reuse them. So we only end up buying them 3 or 4 times a year.

    Maybe not greased filled paper towels, but other used paper towels can go in the compost.

  3. When you wrote that post about getting rid of paper napkins and paper towels a few months ago I wondered how you were going to cook bacon (I guess that I forgot to ask at the time)! Good luck!


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