Week 12b—Brilliant ideas to use a peper towel!

13 billion pounds of paper towels are used by Americans every year. If we could reduce the usage of paper towels, one paper towel per person per day, 571,230,000 pounds of paper will be saved. Now there are all kinds of paper towel dispensers. There’s the tri-fold. People typically take two or three. There’s the one that cuts it, that you have to tear off. People go one, two, three, four, tear. There’s the one that cuts itself. People normally take as much as four. Or there’s the same thing, but recycled paper, you have to get five of those because they’re not as absorbent, of course.

A paper towel (milajake)

A paper towel dispenser failed and dispensed the whole role of paper at once (Louis Wing, 2014)

You use paper towels to dry your hands every day, but chances are, you’re doing it wrong. The fact is, you can do it all with one towel. The key, is to shake your hands before you take the paper towel and fold before you use the towel to increase its suction ability.

Shake before using the paper towel (Joe Smith, 2012)

Fold the towel to increase its suction ability (Joe Smith, 2012)

Of course, people use paper towels for more than just drying their hands. I was guilty of using them as napkins at home until I finally cut up an old towel into napkin-sized rags a few years ago. And there have been plenty of times when I spilled something messy in my kitchen and decided grabbing a paper towel was just faster and easier than dirtying and rinsing a rag. But I have not used a paper towel in my house in over six months now, because of one ridiculously simple tip that I will now share with you. Are you ready? This is pretty earth-shattering. I merely have not refilled my dispenser!


Joe Smith, 2012, ‘How to use a paper towel’, viewed 6 June 2015, <http://www.ted.com/talks/joe_smith_how_to_use_a_paper_towel>

Stefanie, 2012, ‘Throwing in the [Paper] Towel’, viewed 6 June 2015, <http://thegreenists.com/going-green/throwing-in-the-paper-towel/10467>



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