Resolutions. It’s time to make them, it’s time to share them, and it’s time to maybe even keep them this year.

This week I’ve been giving you suggestions for New Year’s resolutions that do some good and are pretty easy. Today, I’ve got the final resolution that you are welcome to adopt as your own.

Hide the paper towels.

Take your roll of paper towels off of the kitchen counter and put it somewhere out of site. Then, get some rags and put them in site and within easy reach.

Why will this do good? I’ve read that on average, U.S. families use 3 rolls of paper towels a week! We never used that many paper towels when we did use them, but apparently some people use them willy nilly. That’s an awful lot of trees cut down for something that is used for just a few seconds and then ends up clogging landfills.

By using rags instead of paper towels, you’ll save trees, you’ll save the water and the energy that are used in the manufacture of the paper towels, you’ll save the fuel that is used to ship the paper towels to the store, and you’ll keep them out of landfills.

In addition, think of all the money you’ll save. If you’re one of those three rolls a week families, you’ll save about $150 a year.

Why is this easy? It just is. Hide the paper towels. Use the rags. You can make rags out of anything. Old dishtowels and bath towels, ragged t-shirts, odd socks. For my family, the switch wasn’t hard to adjust to.

I do still have paper towels under the sink. I use them very rarely. I’ve got two boys and they tend to get sick from time to time. That’s definitely an occasion to use the paper towels. The cat’s fur balls are, too. And I usually produce the roll on Thanksgiving when I’ve got a lot of guests helping in the kitchen. But for the average, every day messes, rags work wonderfully.

Oh, and on the rare occasion that you do buy a roll of paper towels, buy ones made from post-consumer content.

So there you have the three New Year’s resolutions that you can adopt as your own.

Hide the paper towels.

Buy one local food a week.

Buy inexpensive reusable grocery bags, enough for when you do a full shopping trip, and use them.

Why not adopt just one of them and do some good this year?

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