So in my pursuit to conquer my paper towel demons I realize that the all or nothing mentality I have been using has failed me. Too many times I have grabbed a paper towel without thinking and guiltily watched my self imposed rations dwindle down. So I decided to get creative. No I did not decide to use Scout as a mop ( though the thought has occurred to me). I am just now simply using everything in halves. And with something like a paper towel it actually works. For most spills or mishaps one half of the paper towel will do the job just as well as the whole sheet. It has worked so well in fact that I have applied this rule to most of the things in my kitchen. Tin foil, saran wrap, sandwich bags - most of these products ( which I try to use sparingly) I can cut way down on or use again. My husband's grandmother was telling me that during the wars she has lived through something like tin foil becomes as precious as gold. And she would go to great lengths to preserve it and reuse it again and again. She would wash it out, flip it over, fold it down. And while we are so lucky to live here and not face these same issues, it does make me think about all of the things I take for granted and how much of something I really need. Easy as it is to just grab the whole paper towel sheet and run, I don't need all of it. Now this is not a hard and fast rule.One thing this solidly does not work for is napkins. If you are using a paper napkin you are going to have to go for it and use the whole napkin. And let's face it- napkins really cannot be used again under any circumstances. So in that case I try to buy napkins made from recycled paper, and to use as few as I can.
So that's my new idea- just use less. And so far it's working.