Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Give-Away: Natural Linens

I've been planning to do this give-away for some time and I must say... I am so glad to show off this product to you! Carmen at Natural Linens sent me some of her re-usable Eco Towels and I've had plenty of time to give them a thorough work out in our home and "kick the tires", so to speak. And I have NOT been disappointed.



There's a lot of talk about switching from paper towels to something more sustainable, something that lasts a lot longer. And while our family made the switch to cloth napkins with relative ease, we were struggling in the paper towel department. Honestly, it just wasn't happening.

This is the country. The Southwest in fact. Can you say DUST and DIRT? Think old western movies and you're on the right track. Yes, I live in the mountains where there is a bit more vegetation, but it's still high desert territory and boy do we have the dirt to prove it! (I gave up on the floors a long time ago!) So you can imagine that a paper towel that I can throw away is so much more appealing when wiping up dirt and grime. But here's what I found...

The Eco Towels actually worked better!

How's that possible? Well, in a nut shell...

• they last longer before I have to get a new one (even though they are smaller in size)
• they can be easily rinsed out and used again (in certain applications)
• they are able to get in crevices that the paper towels can't because they're thin and pliable
• they are tougher than their paper counterpart
• they are lint free and don't leave bits of fiber behind

And cleaning them? A piece of cake. These are so small, I just throw them in with my other kitchen towels (I typically use hot water for these) and they take up very little room. I've not had to do any extra loads. Whether they're hung dried or dried in the dryer, they do about the same, but they will shrink a bit in the dryer. You can see a comparison below of one new one with one washed and dried in the dryer (on top of the new one).


Here's an example of some of the dirt on a couple (I really did use these)...




And after washing... the edges curl a bit, but it really doesn't bother me as much as I thought it might. If you hand press these as they come out of the washer and THEN hang them up (something that doesn't typically happen with kids helping), then they might do better for you. Certainly doesn't change their effectiveness.


To get the most out of one cloth, I use a technique I learned from reading Speed Cleaning by Jeff Campbell and The Clean Team.

Fold into fourths. Use one side. Flip it over and use the other side...


Next, unfold it ONCE (see brown heart sticker so you have an idea of where the original side is in each photo)...


And then fold it back on itself.



Use both of these sides and then open it up completely.



Fold the dirty sides so that they are on the inside and repeat the steps above.


With paper towels, I never fold like this... I just wad them up and use them and then throw them away, so not every part of the towel is used. Not nearly as frugal in terms of usage.

So how does one really transition from paper towels to cloth?

Hide the paper towels for a while. Or stop buying them for a period of time.

Seriously. And get a big basket or large bowl or some other container, and fill it with lots of Eco Towels so they're handy and ready to go whenever anyone needs to wipe a spill, clean a window, or wash a dish (and yes, they can be used as wash cloths - no need for two products!). I also like to have a second basket in the laundry room so family members can toss them in there when they've used one up.

One more thing I want to mention... I liked the off white color a lot. Typically, I buy lots of those cheap white wash cloths some place like Target or KMart and we use these in the kitchen as wash cloths. But they get so stained and dingy. The Eco Towels seem to have that natural ecru color and they just look better for this kind of heavy use.

I think the hardest thing you'll have to over come is the fact that you may be accustomed to a thicker towel, but being thinner allows you to get into places you normally can't. You really need to buy a set and find out just how well they really do work. The price point on these is only about $1.10-$1.15 per towel, which makes them very affordable, especially since you don't have to throw them away after one use!

If you REALLY want to go green and stop the waste, then you really should consider Natural Linens Eco Towels! Just think... it's a great way to prep for a possible long term crisis when paper towels will dry up on the grocery store shelves. Maybe you should get more than one set!

Give-Away Ends: Monday, November 19!

* Note: Due to the number of entries on recent give-aways, I'm switching to Punch Tab to help manage it all. You can enter below by signing in via facebook or your email. 






145 comments:

  1. I would like some hankies and the towels.

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  2. The reusable tea bags are neat, but I've got to say that (after reading your post) I'm most excited about the un-paper towels!

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  3. The reusable coffee filters look awesome!

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  4. We stopped using paper towels for the most part awhile ago, I do keep a roll under the bathroom sink to clean up litter box misses ( have a older cat). We usally use old towels cut to size, but these would be cool to try.

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  5. I'm in agreement on the reuseable paper towels. I tried "bar" towels and those worked OK, but didn't hold up to the washing. They never looked really clean again, even tho' they are white and I bleached them. I'd like to give these a try.

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  6. I love the reusable coffee filters in the etsy shop. I hate throwing mine away everyday and we drink coffee EVERYday.
    andi66(one)@gmail(dot)com

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  7. I'd love to try the unpaper towels. I've often thought about switching to something reuseable, but my family has not been receptive to the idea. With lots of changes we've been making, now seems to be a better time to attempt it...and these seem to be the perfect thing to use.

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  8. I just checked out the Natural Linens Etsy store, and I love the idea of reusable coffee filters. I usually throw my paper filters in the vermicompost bin after brewing coffee, but reusable ones would reduce the production cost and waste of paper filters. Thanks for introducing me to to store! Katie engk789 (at) gmail.com

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  9. I have been eyeing these type of towels for a few months now! I was wondering how they really work... thanks for the review! I would love to try some of her Reusable Unpaper Towels!

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  10. i visited the Eco Friendly Etsy store, and loved the look of the Hankies :-)!
    lhoovini@aol.com

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  11. I'm a sucker for anything with blue ticking fabric... that's my favorite :)

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  12. We go through the paper towels, and it get's pricy to keep buying. I like the idea of going green...wash these and put them on the line to dry,let them flap in the breeze.. I'd like to participate in your give a way...thank you for the invite.

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  13. I like the un paper towels with the orange edges.

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  14. The variety pack which contains the towels and other items is wonderful. And I love the tea bags and lavender sachets! We grow a bit of lavender ourselves but never enough to keep up with our demand as I love to give it as gifts as well as use it as a decoration!

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  15. I have picked up a bunch of cotton napkins at the thrift store....I keep some nice in the drawer for daily napkin use.....and the others in an enamel bowl under the sink for "paper towel" use. I do keep paper towels available though....because there are some things I just won't touch.....and they are animal related. ;)
    I hope the organic cotton comes from a Fair Trade country. I have two countries I will not purchase items from....and let me tell you....it can be hard shopping sometimes!!! In one of those countries, the Organic Cotton is providing Fair Trade, so that is an exception.

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  16. I just visited the etsy store and I would love the towels. I would love to replace paper towels with something better. I have been thinking about this for a while. I was just waiting on a review, and am very excited about your great review. Thanks

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  17. The tea bags and coffee filters intrigue me, wow what a neat thing.

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  18. To cut cost I have not purchased paper towels for several months. What a great alternative! While the unpaper towels would be very practical, the sachets are what caught my attention.

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  19. Wow, so glad to have "met" these! We haven't bought paper towels for years but were using retired cloth napkins. I think these would be way more absorbing. I visited their site on Etsy and was impressed! Tea bags! Of course! I have a tea drawer that visitors are always into and I would love to not buy paper tea bags anymore.

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  20. I'd love to try the reusable tea bags. We drink tea all the time and sometimes the strainers are all being used and I want a different tea, these would be perfect.

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  21. Not sure if I entered correctly, but we'll see.
    I've been trying to switch to unpaper towels for awhile now and just never got around to buying any because we already have flannel napkins. These look nice!

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  22. Amy, I've been toying with buying these for an awful long time. My biggest concern is them staining right away and then cleaning with "dirty" cloths. Do you have any tips for preventing stains?

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    Replies
    1. Christy, nothing I'm aware of will prevent stains 100%, but another thought is to keep a bucket in the laundry room with a solution of water and laundry soap. Drop the cloths in there during the week and then just dump it all in the washer when you're ready to wash. At least the off-white color of these hides more than the white and they don't look nearly as dingy. I suggest trying a 12 pack and test them at your own home. Then if you like the results, you can always buy more.

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  23. What a great Etsy store! I am interested in the reusable coffee filters.

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  24. I loved the kitchen towels, so cute. I thought the prices were quite reasonable too. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  25. I loved the kitchen towels, so cute. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  26. Awesome review! I have some birthday money in my pocket and I think I'm going to give these a try!! I would love to mark one more thing off my grocery list each week!! :) I checked out their etsy store and I love the ruffled blue ticking dish towels!! I also might need to try those tea bags as well!! Thanks for sharing this with us! :)

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  27. Wow, "paper" towels and tea bags? Sign me up!!!

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  28. The un paper eco friendly towels look like something that would get a lot of use at my house! Very neat products and reasonably priced!

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  29. (last comment by anonymous, about the un paper eco friendly towels, was by me, Keri Brinkley, keribrinkley@aol.com - sorry for not including that in the original comment!)

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  30. All of Carmen's items are so practical. I do think that I would like the towels the best.

    Monica

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  31. Love the lavender sachets! I make some similar, but love that they're in cloth vs tea bags. I'd love to win!

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  32. I think any of the towels would be the most helpful in our home. We haven't used paper towels in quite some time. We have used micro fiber cloths and cloth napkins. Would love to try her products. Thanks for the chance!

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  33. I like the reusable coffee filters (among many others) since we just ran out!

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  34. The re-usable coffee filters in the Natural Linens etsy store are really neat! What a great idea!

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  35. Wow! What a great site! I love nearly everything they have. I particularly like the hankies with the colored borders. I'm envisioning each person in our family having their own color coded hankies!!! Thanks for offering such a great giveaway.

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  36. THe reusable paper towels are great! Reusable coffee filters......WOW!

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  37. I love those reusable coffee filters! Great idea!

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  38. I want napkins and the towels!

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  39. I want napkins and hand towels~

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  40. I've had their #4 coffee filters as a favorite on my etsy for a little while now...I need to get some!

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  41. I love the Ruffled Blue Ticking Dish Towels.

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  42. I have had my eye on her products for some time now. I would love to have the red ticking towels

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  43. Reusable Coffee Filters in Size 2. I hate buying the paper ones but I can't seem to find a reusable one in a 2. This is brilliant!

    Question though... how are they on the absorption front? One advantage to the metal types is that the oils are allowed through, and the oils keep coffee from being bitter. Do these cloth ones absorb more, less, or the same amount of oils? Don't see how they could possibly be worse than the paper ones, but thought I'd ask. =D

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    Replies
    1. Hello Crystal, Carmen here from Natural Linens, good question you asked, my children appreciate the science aspect of your question. Since the organic coffee filters are fabric, it will absorb, to what extent, I cannot say. These coffee filters will pick up the colour of the beans after a while. The organic fabric is a positive feature, less worries about impurities passing through than with a non organic product. So far we have received only positive feedback.
      Blessings ~ Carmen

      Delete
  44. I like the: coffee filters
    towels
    face cloths

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  45. The reusable tea bags! Soooo cool!

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  46. I like the blue ruffled dishtowels. So cute!

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  47. Though all the products look like something worth using, I do think I'd like to try the unpaper towels the most. I've been using cloth napkins for 20+ years, but have not made the switch from paper towels. These just might be the answer!

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  48. I love the unpaper towels. I would love to never buy paper towels again!

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  49. I really plan on getting the reusable coffee filters.

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  50. I like the reusable unpaper towels. Fantastic!

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  51. I would like a big bunch of the unpaper towels and the reusable coffee filters.

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  52. I think I'm going to have to try some of the unpaper towels---I'd just get the plain edged ones---so versatile and the the price was very reasonable.

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  53. These towels would get a heck of a workout at my house! I already knit cotton washcloths and use cotton hankies, but still rely on paper towels for a lot of things that could probably be done better with thin cloth towels. The other things in the etsy shop that caught my eye were the teabags (I use loose tea and a strainer, which doesn't catch all the tea) and the fabric sandwich bags, which I've never seen before. So I guess my "favorite pick" from the shop would be one of the sampler packs: the Organic Variety Package with Organic Tea Bags, Organic Un Paper Eco Towels, and Organic Sandwich/snack Bags!

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  54. The variety pack looked pretty awesome, and I know I would use the tea bags all the time and having something where little bits of leaves don't fall out like the metal tea strainers would be nice. Quite honestly everything looked like something I would use!

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  55. I like the unpaper towels---I'd get the plain edged ones and they look very versatile. The price was very reasonable, too.

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  56. The unpaper towels, we use a lot of paper towels and I would like something more reusable.

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  57. I like the reusable tea bags, we use a lot of loose tea here and they would be helpful to keep tea leaves out of our cups.

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  58. I just visited the Natural Linens Etsy store and I must say that I LOVE the unbleached cotton muslin handkerchiefs. They're just begging for some embroidery!

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  59. Unpaper towels and coffee filters would be get a LOT of use around here!

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  60. Love the reusable towels...I even saw something on Pinterest that showed these type of clothes attached to each other by using velcro on the corners -- rolled around each other, slipped around a paper towel holder. Very cool - thanks for the opportunity!

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  61. I like the linen pillow covers, especially embellished with flower embroidering.

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  62. I like the organic variety pack. This way I could try a ew things out. It would make a great gift!!!
    Jess McCarthy jdjmcc@aol.com

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  63. It's a toss-up between the blue-ticking napkins and the lavender sachet bags.

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  64. I love the idea of reuseable coffee filters. We go through a lot of the paper ones at my house.

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  65. I like the napkins

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  66. Really, the unpaper towels would be great! I've been considering making some recently and would love to have some!

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  67. I would love the unpaper towels! I've been wanting to make some for months and just haven't done it.

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  68. I visited the etsy store. Love all the products, especially the tea bags, since we buy tea in bulk.

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  69. I like the red trimmed ones--24 pack. VERY tempting. Would be wonderful to try them out first.

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  70. I went back and looked--they were orange edges of Reusable Un paper towels. Like my mother in law, above, I have used cloth napkins for approx. 13 years, but I still have paper towels!!

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  71. Love the eco towels! Been trying to switch over for awhile.

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  72. The unpaper towels look great. I have a basket of dishcloths now I try to use instead of paper towels, but I agree that these look like they'd be more durable and less dingy over time. Looks like a great product.

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  73. We use a lot of t-sacs and coffee filters. I have never thought of reusable ones! Great idea!
    ~Maria

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  74. I'm lovin' these towels, but the re-useable coffee filters are pretty cool too. Thanks for the opportunity :o)

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  75. Reusable coffee filters?! Who knew? I'm intrigued.

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  76. I love the unpaper towel and the ruffled hand towel. These are great products! Thanks for offering the giveaway.

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  77. The reusable coffee filters are neat...never seen those before!

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  78. Oooh. I like the unpaper towels. I'd also like to try out the handkerchiefs for my son who goes through so many tissues with his allergies!

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  79. I love the hankies! Right now I use old t-shirts (cut up) for tissues but when I'm out-and-about pulling my old t-shirt tissue out of my purse....well, a hankie would be so much prettier! :)

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  80. I've been trying to phase our paper towels - these Eco Towels would sure make it easier!

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  81. I love the unpaper towels and the hankies for sure. Great idea for a giveaway! We've been paperless for years now, and our family of 7 doens't even throw a full garbage bag out once a week - yeah!

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  82. Awesome! I've made the switch from paper napkins and my next step is to switch from paper towels. Thanks for the opportunity.

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  83. Love the blue ticking dish towels!!!

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  84. I visited the Etsy shop and those ruffled linen towels are gorgeous! That and the blue ticking napkins. I'm in love!

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  85. I like the 'paper towels' on their Etsy site. Thanks for letting us in on such a cool product!

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  86. I like the Lavender Sachet Natural Linen with Inserts because lavender is relaxing.
    Gingeroo616 at AOL dot com

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  87. Having a family of 10, I don't buy paper towels anymore because they are gone in no time. I would LOVE the set of Reusable Unpaper Towels. It would be so nice to have (un)"papertowels" again.

    Thank you for offering this givaway!
    ~Kim at countryroad@volcano.net

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  88. I can't decide between the coffee filters and the handkerchiefs.

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  89. Please disregard any duplicate entries. I went to complete one of the entry requirements and when I came back, my original info was gone. I had to register again to finish my entries. Sorry about that!

    Also, I did "like" them on Facebook but it wouldn't register it.

    Thank you again!

    ~Kim at countryroad@volcano.net

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  90. I would like the coffee filters.

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  91. I would like to try the reuseable coffee filters for my husband.

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  92. I like the unpaper towels with purple edges.

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  93. The coffee filters would be great for straining my bone broth!

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  94. I would like the unpaper towels. I have always hated buying those things. I started keeping them under the sink instead of on the counter so that we wouldn't reach for them automatically. That significantly cut down on how many we used. I'd like to not use any!

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  95. I've been wanting the un-paper towels (with orange surging) for awhile now! They're on my Christmas list. :)

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  96. I love the reusable coffee filters! I would use those for all kinds of projects.:)

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  97. I liked the reusable tea bags and coffee filters. I always feel bad tossing them every time I make a cup of tea or pot of coffee.

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  98. The reusable unpaper towel is by far my favorite. I really want to get into the habit of grabbing a towel for messes- not paper towels.

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  99. I thought the tea bags were a wonderful idea.

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  100. OH, I do love these. I will be getting the un-paper towels and the reusable coffee filters.
    Jonni at kdaarch@msn.com

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  101. Wow, the reusable coffee filters are brilliant! I may have to do a little holiday shopping at the etsy store! I think my mom would LOVE the ruffled dish clothes! Thanks for the opportunity! Amy

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  102. I would love the un-paper towels and also looking at the ruffled hand towels.

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  103. Facial Cloth Organic Cotton Doubled layers-- Dish Cloth -- Eco Friendly -- Set of 7

    I think these look soft and I love soft. :)

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  104. I love the reusable unpaper towel with orange edges!

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  105. the reusable tea bags and the unpapeer towels are tow that I'd love to try!

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  106. The un paper eco friendly towel or napkins

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  107. Wow, lovely item to choose from! I think I would enjoy the unpaper towels and the coffee filters!

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  108. I think I would like to try these paperless paper towels. We live so far out of town and I'm always running out. The paperless coffee filters look appealing too! [visit my blog too at http://blessingofheritage.wordpress.com]

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  109. I'd love to try the reusable tea bags and the unpaper towels!

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  110. The Lavender Sachets would be lovely for my laundry!

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  111. I would like to try the unpaper towels. I haven't yet convinced my family that we could do without paper towels so I would like to try them to see if I can change their mind so that we can save money and the enviroment.

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  112. I really like the idea of the unpaper towels, but I also like the coffee filter. That is one I never thought of using cloth for.

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  113. I like the idea of the unpaper towels. We also have made the switch from paper to cloth napkins but just haven't managed to do the paper towel switch.

    ~Cheryl

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  114. I like the tea bags and the coffee filters.

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  115. Love, love, love the idea of the reusable coffee filters, and the unpaper towels, and the napkins, and . . . well, I love it all!

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  116. I love the eco towels and tea bags!! So clever!

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  117. I like the set of 4 blue ticking napkins

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  118. I like/love/want the Reusable Unpaper Towels!!! I just made the decision this past week , that when I run out of paper towels, that's it. No more! I have been mulling over my options, and how I should replace the paper version...Now these!!!!

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  119. I thought the blue ticking tea towels soo cute!

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  120. I like the eco towels with the colored edging -- just a little bit of fun!

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  121. I love the eco towels! Peggy

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  122. I love the reusable coffee filters.
    Brande

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  123. Thanks for introducing me to these! I recently decided not to buy anymore paper towels and we ran out a few days ago! Haven't found a good alternative...so these look great!!

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  124. I visited Natural Linens and I can't find products, it says the owner is on vacation. :) Still, I have been looking for something to replace paper towels so I'd take those.

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    Replies
    1. Her shop should reopen on Sunday after they observe the Sabbath. Do check back in... they have some great items.

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  125. Definitely the un paper towels! With a two-year old around the house, I need all the help I can get n cleaning up messes! Thanks

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  126. I love the idea of their eco towels as you described!
    It is so hard to decide!

    I think I would absolutely love the variety package with the towels, tea and sandwich bags. So Cool!

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  127. P.S. I hope everyone had a happy Sabbath:)

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  128. Can I pick two? Paper towel alternatives ( I just stashed a bunch of microfiber rags under my sink to try to cut down on paper usage!) and lavendar sachets so our soon to be 4 children will all sleep through the night. :) Nicole

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  129. I love the ruffled linen dish towels, too!
    Jennifer
    Joshandjenr@yahoo.com

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  130. I visited your Etsy store and you are truly an inspiration. We are working more towards living a sustainable lifestyle and we still have a long ways to go. I recently made homemade Organic Comfrey, Organic Calendula flowers, and Organic Lavender salve to take to the local Holiday Bazaar. Not a one sold, so sad. There is so much reeducation that needs to take place to sell locally made items. I love your store.
    Katherine

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  131. reusable un paper eco friendly towels... we are cutting down on paper towel usage. This might just get us to a place where we don't use paper towels at all!

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  132. I really really wish that I didn't have to use paper towels anymore, but I just can't seem to give up using them for cleaning the bathrooms! My bathrooms get so grungy between cleanings that I don't want to look or touch the cloths again after I've used them! How many of these towels do you use for your bathroom when you use your neato folding technique? Can a person use fabric softener when washing these towels? I'm intrigued...

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    Replies
    1. I use about 3-4 and they get really grungy! I'll confess... I usually wear rubber gloves for bathroom cleaning and they go straight into the wash. I don't use fabric softener, so I can't answer that. You might visit Carmen at her website and ask.

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  133. I would like to invite you to join me at the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week! http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/11/clever-chicks-blog-hop-10.html

    I hope you can make it!
    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

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