The Weighty Problem of Paper Towels
Did you know that the average person uses 2400 – 3000 paper towels at work every year? Or that 90% of American households use paper towels for cleaning every day? They’re so lightweight, you might not think much about using them, but paper towel waste adds up to a very heavy problem.
How heavy? 13 billion pounds. That’s how much paper towels we’re using in the U.S. in just one year. Whittle that down to just one day and the number is still enormous: 3000 tons of paper towel waste will have been created by midnight tonight. That’s about the weight of 3000 economy cars. And that’s happening day in and day out, every single day.
To make just one ton of paper towels, 17 trees must be cut down and 20,000 gallons of water consumed. Multiply that by the 3,000 tons mentioned above, and you get roughly 51,000 trees and 60 million gallons of water—consumed every day. And for what? A single-use, throwaway product that could easily be substituted to make a real and lasting difference.
In fact, if we could all reduce by just one paper towel a day, we could save 571,230,000 pounds of paper towel waste in America every year.
A Friendlier Alternative
A great option for drying your hands with paper towels is to use high-quality microfiber cloths and towels. They are super absorbent, soft and they not only get your hands dry, they’re also much more environmentally friendly than paper towels or electric hand dryers. Plus the small versions are perfect on the go, and you can easily tuck them in your purse, backpack, office drawer, briefcase or lunch box!
And for those times when there’s no choice but to use a paper towel, here’s an enlightening yet fun peek at one more way to cut back on their usage.