How a holey tea towel took me outside my comfort zone. But helped me save the planet

r1 tt1 tea towelOh my, Small Footprints knows how to keep us accountable.

This week’s Change the World Wednesday challenge was no walk in the park.

No, we had to put on our big girl pants and step up our game.

And mine involved an old holey tea towel.

You see, Small Footprints challenged us to go outside our comfort zone for the sake of the environment.

Would I be giving up toilet paper, going without the car or eating vegan food for a week?

Mine was MUCH more scary!

Because it involved my mind.

I’m a pretty strong willed character and once I’ve put my mind to something I’ll achieve it.

But I have hang ups too.

One of them I’ve talked about before…

I have OCD which ebbs and flows in its severity.

But it always involves a love-hate relationship with paper kitchen towel.

I need to wash my hands then wipe them in something I KNOW can’t be, well, ‘contaminated’ would be my perception I suppose.

Tearing off a new, white sheet of paper – although very bad for my conscience – is good for my paranoia.

Not one to give up lightly I decided to have a go at living without disposable paper towel for a day.

So I found the oldest, holiest tea towel that I knew none of the other members of my family would touch.

Then I attached it to my jeans for the day so no one else COULD touch it without me knowing.

old holey tea towel

And for the rest of the day I used only that for wiping my hands.

I probably saved about 20 sheets of paper from being composted that day.

It was pretty challenging; old habits die hard after all – especially irrational ones based in fear.

But I did it and I’m pretty proud of myself.

What would take you outside YOUR comfort zone but help you live a more sustainable lifestyle?

1 Comment

  1. Rick on November 7, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    I love this post. Reminds me of my grandmothers. My Polish grandmother always had a very nice dish towel over her shoulder. It wasn’t to wipe up spills or dry dishes. It was just for hands. She only took it off to put on her lap at meals or sitting in the living room with company. The Italian grandmother always wore a full apron. There was an area on the apron dedicated to drying hands. Now-a-days, I unconsciously keep a clean dish towel over my shoulder when I cook and clean around the kitchen. Both grandmothers came of age during the depression. Sometimes “old school” is the way to go.