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Wash Your Hands OF (not with) Paper Towels!


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Wash Your Hands OF (not with) Paper Towels!

The Weighty Problem of Paper Towels

ptowelDid 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.

Environmentally Expensive

ptowel_diagramTo 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.

comment_2How about you? Do you limit your family’s usage of paper towels? We’d love to hear about it! Just leave us a comment below.

Resources:

Do you try to avoid using paper towels?

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Yes:
 
93%
No:
 
7%
Total Votes:
285
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Tara Olsen
Tara Olsen
5 years ago

I really don’t remember the last time I purchased paper towel.
But admittedly I do use it if I have the choice in public toilets.
For now on I’ll carry a travel cloth arpund with me.
Thanks for the idea.

Moderator
Admin
Moderator
5 years ago
Reply to  Tara Olsen

Great idea, thanks Tara!

Juliana DeWeerd
Juliana DeWeerd
3 years ago
Reply to  Tara Olsen

good idea to carry a travel cloth! my son hates the blow dryers in public washrooms so this would be really helpful

Stacy Lapso
Stacy Lapso
5 years ago

Just this weekend we finally made the jump over to cloth napkins. And not just for the fancy dinners!

Jessica Rodriguez
Jessica Rodriguez
5 years ago

We try to limit our usage – but it’s hard! Extremely rare that we use them at home at least! Wish there was an alternative to recycle paper towels when out.

Heather Schumm
Heather Schumm
5 years ago

I always use the paper towel trick from this video whenever I ‘have’ to use a paper towel to dry my hands. It works!

Amy Hepfner
Amy Hepfner
5 years ago

Since Norwex came into my life I have cut down my paper towel usage greatly. I knew there was an environmental impact with using them but I didn’t know exactly what it was. Love the video, will be doing the “shake and fold” from now on. Thank you Amy for keeping us informed.

Mary
Mary
5 years ago

I haven’t bought paper towels in years 🙂 I love my Norwex. I just had a great idea to use a ring clip to attach a travel enviro inside my purse (similar to clipping on my optic scarf) or kids diaper bag for easy hand drying while out and about!

Moderator
Admin
Moderator
5 years ago
Reply to  Mary

Thanks for sharing, Mary. Those are really good ideas and great ways to reduce paper towel usage!

valerie Smith
valerie Smith
5 years ago

What a great article

Nancy Dinkelman
Nancy Dinkelman
5 years ago

I used to purchase paper towels in the giant package at Sam’s Club or Costco. Now I only purchase one roll at a time for demonstrations to show how paper towels do not work as well as norwex Enviro cloths for windows.

Angela Wojcik
Angela Wojcik
5 years ago

I have cut WAY back. Just can’t get my husband too…

Melissa Short
Melissa Short
5 years ago

We’ve saved over 270 dollars in 18 months by not buying paper towels :)!

Jean Simcic
Jean Simcic
5 years ago

My last purchase of paper towels was over a year ago in one of those bulk warehouse stores. Now that I have made the Norwex switch, I rarely use paper towels in my home. So, what did I do with all of those extra rolls? I donated them to the local food bank and animal shelter.

Tanya Aoyagi
Tanya Aoyagi
5 years ago

We’ve been working to get rid of paper towels in our house. We mostly use them now for draining bacon and other greasy foods. We used to go through a Costco-size package every month or so, and now we go through maybe one of those per year.

Moderator
Admin
Moderator
5 years ago
Reply to  Tanya Aoyagi

Good job, Tanya! You and your family are making a big difference!

Linda Watson
Linda Watson
5 years ago

Paper Towels? What are they? that’s what I hope to hear some day from a future generation – they won’t have a clue what they are because manufacturers will no longer produce them! Norwex microfiber will be in every household!!!! That is our mission!

Theresa Gage
Theresa Gage
5 years ago

Great information and a clever way to remember the “shake” number. I’ll be using this info at work and sharing with my co-workers.

Leah Rissien
Leah Rissien
5 years ago

I have not bought paper towels in over a year and a half. Our next step is to eliminate facial tissue … I love a good challenge!

Carissa Bland
Carissa Bland
5 years ago

I never really thought about all of the paper towels my family went through until a couple months ago. When I was introduced to Norwex it opened my eyes to many things I hadn’t really thought about. There were so many things that I used in my home just because that was the way it had always been done. I’m so thrilled to have a safer, healthier home for my family.

kera@srt.com
kera@srt.com
5 years ago

I watched this video back in 2013 and it has stuck with me since! I’ve taught my daughter Bella to “shake shake” 12 times and “save a tree and just use one!”

Jacqueline Murgatroyd
Jacqueline Murgatroyd
5 years ago

I hate the my office only uses paper towels. We fill 2 garbage bags full a week and it hurts so bad to witness the volume of paper towels used, then just disposed into our landfills without a thought. I do not use paper towels in my house, only exception is for cooking bacon and I would love to find an alternative, at that.

Jeanette Green
Jeanette Green
5 years ago

We haven’t bought paper towels in over a year now and we don’t miss them one bit…and that’s only because of Norwex!

Gail Boudreau
Gail Boudreau
4 years ago

Love the video!

Jennifer Rottman
Jennifer Rottman
4 years ago

I have changed to the chenille towel and love it. I would love to see this change in the work place.

Kimberly Denesowicz
Kimberly Denesowicz
4 years ago

I’ve been using reusable grocery bags for 8 years, have my produce bags. Recently my family gave up paper plates . Next is napkins and straws!! Thanks to NORWEX I am aware of how to minimize waste in our home.

Gingi Freeman
Gingi Freeman
3 years ago

We used to go through 8 rolls of paper towels a month in our home. We switched to Norwex microfiber a month ago and we haven’t even gotten through a quarter of a paper towel in one month!

Juliana DeWeerd
Juliana DeWeerd
3 years ago

paper towel is a staple in my house for one reason… cast iron fry pan. Does anyone else use a cast iron pan and have a less wasteful way of caring for your pan, (spreading oil, removing excess grease)

Nikki A Costello
Nikki A Costello
3 years ago

Care for cast iron- simply wash with H20 & scrub brush, rinse, put skillet on your stove (high heat) and let dry. If you are reseasoning spread oil with cheese cloth, then put in a baggy for next time.

Sharon Campese
Sharon Campese
3 years ago

It boggles my mind how much waste is involved in the use of paper towel and yet so many people don’t even consider using cloth for the same cleaning jobs. I have always sewn napkins from leftover fabric swatches, used old cloth diapers for cleaning and now almost exclusively use my Envirocloths for EVERYTHING!

Bonnie MacNeil
Bonnie MacNeil
1 year ago

I have not purchased paper towel for almost 4 years. I carry a MVP with me, in a were wipes bag, with a small pray bottle of water and a small pump bottle of hand sanitizer. My husband has one in his car, as well.

Moderator
Admin
Moderator
1 year ago
Reply to  Bonnie MacNeil

Bonnie, wow! Thanks for sharing, and for the conscious choices you and your husband are making to protect our planet. And happy Earth Day!