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MUSESEEKER's Photo MUSESEEKER Posts: 24
1/17/10 10:46 A

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This is why I eat only grass-fed beef and other naturally raised and fed (antibiotic-free, hormone-free) meat from local farmers. As morbid as it is, I like your reference to coffins as "your compost bin." LOL

 
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1/16/10 8:08 A

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I use paper bags and paper napkins from takeout that seem to come my way for absorbing fat but I rarely fry.

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TRILLIANTOO's Photo TRILLIANTOO SparkPoints: (40,742)
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1/14/10 3:39 P

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CLEANING THE HOUSE WITH PAPER TOWELS????? Seriously?

Wow.

We use paper towels only for the heavy grease like bacon or beef, but we rarely use that. I haven't had bacon now in about 3 years. I use the vegi bacon when I want bacon. And for the times I want ground beef I pour the fat into a can and then throw it out, and run hot water in it down the drain. Sometimes I wipe it out.

But for housecleaning and wiping down counters, and for napkins I use rags or dishcloths. For cleaning windows newspaper is better, so I use the newspaper-type magazines after I've read them.

On my own I probably go through one roll of paper towels in about 2 years.

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MAINEROCKS's Photo MAINEROCKS Posts: 7,195
1/12/10 10:27 A

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Along the same lines, I once read that human bodies are decomposing at a remarkably lower rate due to all the preservatives we consume in a lifetime.

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SALDRU's Photo SALDRU SparkPoints: (0)
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1/12/10 7:57 A

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Gross!

ERIS23's Photo ERIS23 Posts: 516
1/11/10 5:51 P

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Well largely it depends on the meat you eat. Let me tell you a little story to explain why. I used to work with a farmer at the farmers market who sells meat. His meat is grass fed and the area that he farms in has a great mobile processing unit that comes by to do the slaughtering right on the farm and then takes the meat away for cutting into steaks and such. It's a much more humane process for the animals and helps insure that when you buy meat from this farmer it really is the meat from his farm.

One day the USDA wanted to see this processing truck (it was the first of it's kind in the country) so they brought a cow from another traditional (read: not grass fed) farm to his farm for processing as he had no animals ready for slaughter. Now normally he takes the offal from his cows and puts it into the compost pile for his farm. It decomposes completely within a week or two. So of course without thinking he did the same thing with the offal from this non grass fed cow. Can you guess what happened? That's right, it didn't decompose. Not ever. In about 9 months he had to actually dig the stuff out of the pile and throw it in the garbage.

Now just imagine what that stuff is doing inside of you! So there's your answer. If your meat won't decompose or digest inside of you it won't in your compost bin either without a heck of a lot of really high temperatures. If it will break down in you it'll be fine in your compost bin.

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SALDRU's Photo SALDRU SparkPoints: (0)
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1/11/10 5:08 P

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I don't use paper towels but it's mostly because I'm cheap. I think rags & sponges work great. Plus, now they have sponges made from recycled stuff. YAY!

PETUNIAPIG's Photo PETUNIAPIG Posts: 428
1/11/10 4:55 P

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I mainly use my paper towels for post-meal cleanup or, as someone else mentioned, to soak up the fat from greasy foods (e.g. bacon). So, even with the meat fat or other residue such as chicken "goo", it is compost-able? I thought it was a no-no to have animal products such as meat/fat in your composting bin. Is that not the case?
I use Green Works all-purpose cleaner to clean up my kitchen countertops - would that be ok in my bin?

Also, I have a housekeeper that comes 2X/month and she cleans the whole house w/ the paper towels. So, you can see what a paper-towel hog I am.

I think with a combination of rags and composting I can reduce my trash output considerably.

BTW - love the www.storyofstuff.com website! Cool!


"Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for." -- Joseph Addison


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ERIS23's Photo ERIS23 Posts: 516
1/11/10 11:40 A

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You can easily compost all the papertowels that don't have chemicals on them (meat is fine). That said I'd choose to reduce waste rather then continuously create it when it's not necessary. Watch this if you're not convinced...
Story of Stuff www.storyofstuff.com/

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BILBY4's Photo BILBY4 SparkPoints: (45,857)
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1/11/10 11:25 A

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Previous responders have covered most of the obvious solutions.
I only use paper towels for absorbing the oil from fried food. As I hardly fry any more I'm down to about 1 roll of paper towels per year! Used towels I put in my worm farm ... along with newspaper they are fine for lining the bottom of the worm trays.
I couldn't find a worm emoticon so here's a nice frog instead emoticon

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SARAHGMD Posts: 834
1/11/10 11:11 A

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I'm with MaineRocks!!
Switch to cloth. Handkerchiefs are nicer on the nose. Dish towels absorb more, and don't take much space in the wash.

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WILLAMLC's Photo WILLAMLC Posts: 40,388
1/11/10 11:09 A

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I cannot live without paper towels (sad I know), but I try to minimize the damage. I buy the ones that come from recycled paper...

Whatever the mind can conceive and believe you will achieve. Salt-N-Pepa

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MAINEROCKS's Photo MAINEROCKS Posts: 7,195
1/11/10 10:25 A

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I almost never use paper towels. What are you using them for? Old T-shirts, wash cloths, etc. make great rags. I use those for cleaning. For napkins, use cloth. For making a sandwich, use a plate.

I never thought I would break my husband of his paper towel habit, but it finally worked. You just have to get creative :-)

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SALDRU's Photo SALDRU SparkPoints: (0)
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1/11/10 10:24 A

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Stupid question time . . . meat residue? Even traces of meat are bad in the compost? Why?

WILLAMLC's Photo WILLAMLC Posts: 40,388
1/11/10 10:04 A

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I had never heard of non recycling paper towels. it is curious...

I think the composting idea is great!

Although I work on reducing as much as I can the amount of waste we produce in our house, I do understand that there will be a certain amount that is inevitable. Maybe you should consider that and be less hard on yourself....

Whatever the mind can conceive and believe you will achieve. Salt-N-Pepa

Co-Leader Brazil Team

Leader Eco-Friendly Sparkers


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PETUNIAPIG's Photo PETUNIAPIG Posts: 428
1/11/10 9:26 A

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I finally have a curb-side recycling service coming to my house, but unfortunately they have told me that my paper towels are not recyclable.
emoticon

I've been thinking about buying a sack of terry cloth rags and just using those day to day. But not sure as to the feasibility as I must go through about a dozen sheets of paper towels a day.

My other option is to stick with the paper towels and just compost the ones that don't have chemicals or meat "residue".

Anybody have any good ideas? I'd like to stick with something where I'm not using the trash (as I'd like to eventually get rid of my regular garbage service).

"Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for." -- Joseph Addison


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