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Non -gardening environmental question

B3B3 Posts: 26,432
Which of these options is less damaging to the environment:
* Using paper towels in the kitchen
*  Using tea towels or whatever and using water, heat, detergent / bleach 
Should I get a warm smug feeling if I use a tea towel to wipe a work top or would I be better using a bit of kitchen roll?
In London. Keen but lazy.


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,237
    I use old t shirts that I have ripped up, after they stop being good t shirts, and then gardening t shirts.  They go through the washer when I put a load on.
  • LynLyn Posts: 22,852
    edited May 2022
    I use washable ones,   I’ve never used bleach on anything,  we have septic tank drainage. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,624
    I use J cloths to wipe worktops (which are then recycled for garden use) , paper towels for greasy/dirty/messy jobs (which often then go in my compost bin). Tea towels are strictly for drying crockery and cutlery. I have a separate hand towel for handwashing in the kitchen.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,541
    what about electric hand dryer VS paper towel in loos?
    I just drip dry ( or use my trousers )
  • B3B3 Posts: 26,432
    But is washing cloths better than using paper towels?
    Chucking cloths in with your other washing ( which I do)  makes sense  but I soak up oil on a frying pan with a paper towel . Is that oil better on a towel in landfill (but our borough has an incinerator anyway) or down the drain?
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • wild edgeswild edges Posts: 9,894
    I wonder if Bezos loses sleep over similar questions?
    I'm not saying don't act as responsibly as you can but it erks me that individuals are guilted into this kind of discussion while the mega-rich are greenwashing their way through environmental destruction.
    I like to use cloths and warm soapy water. The cloths are compostable but last for years. My wife likes to use chemicals and microfibre cloths.
    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,624
    Definitely not oil down the waste pipes, so oily paper towels in landfill are better I think.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • B3B3 Posts: 26,432
    @wild edges
    I remember your point about being happy to wash your  plates, which you eat off, in washing up bowl whilst sanitising  all other surfaces,. Mad!
    It has been my mantra. I ingest much less antibacterial than before!I

    Has anybody ever done a survey in the amount of antibacs ingested by a child in the first few years of life?
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • I have heard that producing paper uses a lot of bleach so I keep the paper kitchen role for cleaning that would make a tea towel badly stained too quickly. Cleaning counter tops would be with soapy water and a J-cloth that is rinsed after use and like tea towels passed through the washing machine every so often. Not sure if I'm right or wrong but it seems to make sense to keep the kitchen towels just for occasional use when something particularly messy needs to be dealt with. Don't like using anti-bacterials as I'm not sure what's in them and think warm water with some detergent and rinsing with clean water goes far enough.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 22,584
    I use tea towels only for crockery and cutlery. I always rinse crockery and cutlery. I use Spontex sponge cloths for work surfaces with soapy water and paper kitchen towels for wiping frying pans, drying spills, and drying vegetables. I put the non oily paper towels in the compost.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
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