On the broad spectrum of environmental consciousness, I would say that I land pretty much somewhere in the middle. While I aim to get more to the side of “Earth goddess” some of my bad habits keep more in the league of “planet-plain-Jane.” Some habits like recycling, buying in bulk, and using all extra cardboard as kindling in my fireplace come easy. The one habit that really puts me in the environment “doghouse” is my addiction to paper towels. Mind you not just ANY paper towels but “Bounty” paper towels. They are just sturdy, clean, absorbent well…. OK, you get the idea I am slightly obsessed. During this quarantine, I had snagged a few rolls before things got bad, and as things progressed and the rolls got thinner and thinner I realized that I had to find an alternative.
Enter this great post from Paper and stitch https://www.papernstitchblog.com/eco-friendly-projects/) I had already done her Utensil wrap from the same post so I was excited to try making my own set. Brittni’s version was a little bigger than mine, but as I mostly used old washcloths I was limited to their size, which ended up being 10.5 x 9.5 inches once the edges were cut off. Her steps are simple and easy to follow, and she even offers a “no-sew” version using hemming tape.
I think that another option for those who don’t own a machine is sewing by hand. Yes, it is time-consuming but hey, we all have tons of that lately. It would also be a good project to do while screening your latest favorite Netflix binge.
It pretty much comes to:
Cutting your fabric (if you don’t have extra fabric some worn pillowcases would work) and terry towel to the same size, lining them up right sides together.
Pin all around and leave an approximate 2-inch opening to turn inside out. I always use double pins to remind myself not to sew all the way through
Stitch around with a ¼ to ½ inch seam allowance.
Turn inside out and Iron while turning in your opening.
Stitch all around to hold in place.
I would suggest doing it “factory style” by doing one step all the way through – so do all your cutting in one go and then all your pinning as opposed to starting and finishing each one. For this to really be effective in your kitchen you need to have a good amount on hand so that you always have some while the others are being washed. So you really want at least 10 or 12 to start. Brittni also mentioned in her post that you could have different sets for different jobs. I decided to use all pink patterns for my kitchen and will make another set in possibly blues and greens for the bathroom.
I have to say that they are really absorbent and quite nice looking in the kitchen. While I may still use paper towels for yechy jobs, these little guys are definitely helping me inch my way further towards the good side of the eco-friendly spectrum. Even if not quite “earth goddess” possibly in the realm of “Doing-my-best-Betsy.”