If you are looking for ways to save money while making your home more eco-friendly, one of the easiest transitions to take to do both, is to switch from paper products to cloth products. You will save money while lessening your carbon footprint. You don't have to spend a lot of money buying cloth products, because you can find them at thrift stores, discount sales, and you might already have some in your home that you aren't using.
1. Replace Paper Towels with Rags
Paper towels are convenient, but wasteful. Instead, save old t-shirts and use them to create rags. Another paper substitute is to keep several microfiber towels on hand. You can find these at any dollar store or you can stock up by getting packages of 10-20 at one of the warehouse store like Sam’s or Costco. Just add your rags and microfiber towels to the wash with your other linens. If they become mildewed while waiting to be washed add 1/2 cup vinegar to your load of laundry.
2. Replace Tissues with Handkerchiefs
Back in the old days, handkerchiefs were a big deal. Everyone had one instead of tissues, and they were even monogrammed, designed, and perfect for any lady or gentlemen. You can make your own handkerchiefs and replace the cost of buying box after box of Kleenex. Use old cotton t-shirts, cut out little squares, and even take a minute to design them for everyone in your family. Cotton is also great to use because it can be washed easily in hot water and is gentle on little noses.
3. Use Cloth Napkins
Napkins are a big paper waster. Ultimately, you can save money by investing in cloth napkins. I bought some napkins at clearance sales and picked some up at thrift stores. You can easily make napkins out of any fabric you have on hand or pick up a yard or two of fabric at the fabric store when they have a sale. Another option is to look in your home for old tablecloths, sheets, or pillowcases you do not need. By cutting out 2 squares and sewing them together, you can create durable napkins that can be used in any sticky situation.
For young children, you may wish to use a wash cloth as a napkin. Then after the meal, you can rinse it out and use it to wash their face and hands.
Don't forget, you can also use rags to create reusable disinfecting wipes.