Friday, February 21, 2014

The paper towel dilemma

Welcome back to Friday's IOTUS (Instead Of This, Use This). If you're looking for Vinegar Friday, you'll have to stop back on the first Friday of the month or just browse through my old VF posts. Let me assure you -- there are plenty of them!

Did you ever count how many paper towels you throw away each week? If not, I challenge you to do so this coming week. If you're like most people, it's quite a few.

Several years ago, we stopped using paper towels except for the occasional need to clean up cat puke. What do we use instead? Rags. Stained tea towels. Old washcloths. We keep a selection of them in the cabinet under the sink and simply toss them in the rag hamper when we're done cleaning up a mess. It's just one more way to cut back on disposable products in our home, which saves trees and limits the amount of trash our family contributes to the landfills. 

But paper towels aren't that big of an issue, are they?

Well, let's look at some stats and then decide. According to Nate Lipka, writing for the, "13 billion pounds of paper towels are used in the U.S. every year." Whoa! That's a lot of paper towels! He continues, "If all Americans used one less paper towel a day, 571,230,000 pounds of paper would be spared over the course of the year."

So, what would happen if every home limited their paper towel use to occasional rather than daily? The statistics would be staggering!

But what about drying your hands when you're out in public and your only option is paper towels? Check out this short video for the solution. It's all about shake and fold. Watch and discover how you can help with the solution rather than contributing to the problem. Instead of this, use/do this.

Sharing eco-friendly solutions,



  1. We do good pretty good here.... except bacon and fried food grease?!?!?!

    1. Yeah, bacon grease is bad. I generally pour grease into coffee cans or something similar. Occasionally, my husband drenches a paper towel with the grease and then uses it to light fires in the chiminea.


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