Wednesday, February 22, 2012
An Easy Way To Go Green - Reduce Paper Towel Consumption
Choosing to use cloth dish towels or sponges instead of paper towels is an easy way to reduce paper consumption and go green. Would that really help, you say?
The answer is a resounding, “Yes!” Every day, more than 3,000 tons of paper towel waste is produced in the U.S. alone*! To make one ton of paper towels, 17 trees and 20,000 gallons of water are polluted. I hope these staggering numbers remind you that we can each make a difference every day with our simple choices.
When I first made the switch to dish towels, I kept some recycled paper towels on hand, “just in case.” I found that this was a big mistake. Everyone kept reaching for the paper towels out of habit so I decided to just cut them out “cold turkey.”
We don't miss the paper at all! We use cloth dish towels for drying our hands and we just keep them hanging over the oven door handle. For spills, I grab my sponge and wash it out afterwards. For scrubbing up harder to remove spots or sticky stuff I use my sponge or rags that I have made from worn out clothes, and keep those handy under my kitchen sink.
There are other big benefits that come from eliminating disposable paper towels. Not adding paper towels to my grocery store cart saves money and it is one less bulky item I have to transport home. It takes a tiny bit of getting used to, but just imagine the impact your green choice can make.
If just half of us in America quit using paper towels, we could save 25,000+ trees every day! Does that put a smile on your face?
*Statistics from SCgov.net (http://www.scgov.net/sustainability/PreschoolCleaning.asp)