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Weekly Tips | March 04, 2014

Re-Papering the Town

Rethinking your relationship with the quicker picker-upper means re-papering the town with an alternative! Whether at home, work, school, or in public restaurants, paper towels are everywhere you want to be - except in the landfill!

Calculate your Impact

According to Earth 911, 13 billion pounds of paper towels are used every year in the United States. Instead of creating paper towel waste throughout the day, there are alternatives that are better for the environment. 

Find out roughly how much paper towel waste you create every year using King County’s EcoConsumer Waste Calculator

Paper towels and paper napkins seem to have replaced cloth napkins, kitchen towels and cleaning rags as the solution for any mess or cleanup project at home or on the go. But, do we really need to use them for everything? 

Go Paperless

The best alternative to single-use paper towels is investing in a reusable hand towel that you can bring with you wherever the day takes you. PeopleTowels offers eco-chic personal hand towels that are made out of 100% fair trade cotton. This is an on-the-go sustainable alternative to paper towels.  

If you have useable fabric lying around or prefer to make something with personal flare, this step-by-step tutorial will show you how to create your own napkin using cotton fabric. Not interesting in a sewing project? Create a no-sew frayed edge napkin with a little muslin or linen. 

Recycled Paper Towels 

If you just can’t seem to give up paper towels, reach for the ones that are 100% recycled. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, if every household in America replaced one roll of generic paper towels with 100% recycled ones it would save roughly 500,000 trees. The NRDC rates paper towel brands based on their recycled content so you can compare brands

When you’re out and about and the only option to dry your hands with is a paper hand towel, remember that you can dry your hands with only one sheet. Instead of reaching for multiple sheets of paper towels from the dispenser, follow the “Shake & Fold” technique introduced in this creative TEDx talk

Sources: Earth 911 | King County EcoConsumer Waste Calculator | NDRC | NDRC Paper Towel Guide | TEDx talks | PeopleTowels | Nicole's Classes | The Kitchn 

The Big Picture

According to the EPA Americans use 70 million tons of paper and paperboard per year. In fact, paper and paperboard products make up the largest portion of the municipal solid waste stream in the United States.

Sources: US EPA


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