In trying to use other than paper towels, I use a piece of newspaper to wipe out a greasy skillet before washing it. If we're soon to start up the fireplace, that becomes a fire starter.
I haven't bought paper towels in years. I use rags for everything. If the job is really nasty, I just throw the rag away, but most of them get washed and reused. I have "clean" rags and "dirty" rags. The ones for dirty uses (mopping the floor, scrubbing the toilet) get washed with throw rugs and the ones for cleaner jobs are washed with bed and kitchen items.
I take the brown paper inner wrapper from sugar sacks and save it to drain greasy foods.
I could list a thousand or so things, it seems! Reuse containers of every kind. I have two 5 X 9 plastic containers that came with cookies in them. They're sturdy so I use one to hold excess pencils and pens and the other goes by the sewing machine for odds and ends. Chip bags are sometimes turned inside out and the shiny side used for gift wrap. I save the salt from the bottom of pretzel bags and grind it for popcorn salt. Popcorn that doesn't pop gets milled for corn meal. I keep a few plastic cards (membership or old credit cards) handy to scrape yucky stuff, to smooth grout in the bathtub, to scape ice from the windshield, etc.