I'm not proud of it, but on my list of priorities, conserving paper towels is right above inventing a car that runs on pee. You think I have time to make lists of how I can help the environment? The earth is lucky if I rinse out a milk carton before I throw it in the garbage. That's right, I throw milk cartons in the garbage sometimes. Sure, I would love to bend down and open the cabinet we use for recycling, but I can't because I'm carrying a young child, and when I kneel, we both fall down. Then I have to burn through an entire box of band aids to cover all the imaginary owies.
Using paper products with total disregard for trees is one of the only things that keeps my family functioning. If you told me I had to stop using a box a day of unscented baby wipes, I would say, "Well then I guess this is the end, isn't it?" We have a box in every room. I use them to crush bugs, blow my nose, wipe milk off the sofa, wash my hands, de-grease my phone and clean the various cloth surfaces my kids have used to relieve their hands of snot and various cheese dusts. When I change a diaper, I lay out a dozen of them like I'm setting up a game of wipe solitaire.
The amount of food we waste in this house should require us to pay for our own landfill. Unless you want me to eat a wheat thin that landed on the floor and splashed into a small pool of banana yogurt, then you'll have to forgive me for pulling out ten wipes to create a moist mummy hand for cleaning-up the smeary floor snack. Good thing we don't have any childless hippie friends because they would have reported us to some kind of Gaia police by now. "Dude, that's perfectly good food." "You're welcome to eat it, Starflyer." Don't misunderstand me, I eat food off the floor all the time, but only because it's easier at that moment than picking it up and throwing it away. It's not about conservation, respect or nourishment. It's about my priorities and frustration level.
For the next few years, we will continue to take paper and food for granted. Don't be mad. I promise when it's all over, I'll get to work on the urine combustion engine.