By Tina Ujlaki
Updated May 23, 2017

I'm so grateful that I've never been a fan of bottled water; it would have been just one more thing to rethink. At my local Met Food Supermarket, where it's evident that their main goal in packing up your groceries is to use as many plastic bags as possible, they make fun of me for whipping out my reusable shopping bag (my plebian--and plastic--version of the newly fashionable "I'm Not a Plastic Bag" bag). I've yet to properly train my family to save all the compostables so I can trot them over to the Lower East Side Ecology Center at the Greenmarket a couple of times a week, but at least they don't regard me as some sort of nut for having yet one more receptacle in the kitchen.

My most recent campaign involves paper towels. I've been trying to wean myself from reaching for them constantly, and I've also been searching for a less wasteful alternative. I love pop-up sponges, but they're not quite big enough for wiping down stainless steel surfaces, cabinets or countertops. I adore my striped cotton kitchen towels that I use as potholders and for drying, but they're way too heavy when wet. The best solution I've found so far is the Super Amazing Kitchen Cloth from Trader Joe's. They're made out of brightly colored vicose, a synthetic fabric related to rayon, and they're super absorbent and easy to wash. I'm still using the same bright orange cloth I bought a month ago, and it's still bright orange, so I think I'm making progress. Onto the next improvement...