I never used paper towels in Kenya. They were sold in our local grocery store, but they were expensive and were of really poor quality, so I never bothered to buy them. We just used cloth tea towels for every spill and mess. Never missed 'em.
Ziplocs were in high demand; you could buy them at one particular grocery store but it was a long traffic riddled drive away. And if you did the broke quickly and were pretty much a complete waste of money. So we washed them. We probably used the same tne bags for a year straight. Every package that my mother-in-law sent she put EVERYTHING in a separate ziploc. It was wonderful.
We didn't use trash bags. The grocery store were large enough to fit into a trash can, much larger than ours are here. So we never bought trash bags. A purchase that I struggle with, because we are purchasing something to throw it away. ( I also struggle with wrapping paper, as my friend said, 'it is ecologically hard for me.')
Coming back to the states I still can't beleive how much trash we produce. And I think we're pretty good. I still struggle to throw away a ziploc. I re-use cardboard boxes, I do wash the ziplocs, we don't buy bottled water, I made an effort not to paper towels or napkins, etc. I always forget to take the re-usable bags into the grocery store. Almost every time. I use grocery bags for trash bags when I can. I feel like I'm always turning myself inside out to reduce our trash. We use cloth diapers, and I make my own baby wipes (largely because I think it helps with diaper rash.).
My one caveat; disposable antibacterial wipes. I love them. I use them in the bathroom. I am NOT a big fan of antibacterial products, I do tend to think that we are overly clean, which is why we are suffering with so many allergies and infections. I did take public health in grad school and came under the impression that poo bacteria is ALWAYS a bad idea. Pretty much nothing good comes from poo. So in the room where the poo goes a little antibacterial wipe isn't a bad thing. These wipes are great: in two seconds and few wipes my bathroom is clean.
There it is my dirty little secret. My guilty anti-green pleasure. Do you have any guilty not so green habits that you've decided not to give up?