For the start of the 2012 year I decided to forgo buying paper towels even with the family not being 100% on board with the idea. Questions like how do we prevent splatters in the microwave, drain grease from bacon and other fried foods, and wipe up spills etc... I didn't have all the answers and we are still trying to figure out the best alternatives for some of these things but It's been almost one month and it's working out just fine.
As a family of 6 we were buying 1 -2 six packs of paper towels a month. Not only were we wasting money but adding to our landfills. That's when I decided we needed to do something.
I purchased 8 bar mops from Walmart for $7.45 with the intentions of rolling or folding these up in a pretty jar or bowl and setting them on the counter but haven't found one I like yet so for now they're folded up in a drawer with one being hung on the oven door handle at all times and others taken out as needed.
So now some of the answers to the questions asked by my family.
1. How do we prevent splatters in the microwave? Well we are using leftover parchment paper I had in the pantry but as of yesterday I purchased a splatter cover from Walmart for $1.97.
2. How do we drain grease from bacon or other fried foods? By using paper bags instead of paper towels and we have a grease catcher to pour grease into from the bacon and other foods. Eventually we won't have to deal with this as I cut fried foods like bacon out of our diet or cooking it on a broiler pan in the oven. While at Walmart yesterday I saw a microwave plate that you cook bacon on and the splatter cover I purchased fits this. This may be a purchase in the near future.
3. As far as spills go... If on the counter, table, stove or in refrigerator use the dish cloth and then rinse out. If it's on the floor grab a rag and wipe it up.
I will update you in a month with our progress in this challenge.