We Just Kicked 17 Trees with 1 Ton of Paper Towel

Do you really need that paper towel?

17 trees and over 20,000 gallons of water.

That’s what’s needed to create one ton of paper towel rolls. Creighton University

If you’re like me, that’s all I grew up with. As an adult, I used them for about everything: paper towels, napkins, and general cleanup. Very naive of me, but I didn’t realize there was another option until later in life.

Now, I haven’t used a paper towel in over a year. I don’t think about it and I haven’t missed it.

“Man should not consider his material possession his own, but as common to all, so as to share them without hesitation when others are in need.” Thomas Aquinas

You know, I was super hesitant to swap out paper towels. I agonized for weeks as if it was a life or death decision.

Were bamboo paper towels going to help the environment? Did they absorb as much? If they weren’t going to do the job, then I’d end up using more. Which means I’d be in the same spot. I thought I’d hate having to use rags and keep up with cleaning them.

Throwing out a paper towel when done is so easy. There isn’t thought to it. It goes in the trash. To stay. Another tree has gone to sit in the landfill.

So wasteful.

Oh and the cost. An average set of cloth paper towels can run you $50 for a 24 pack. Who has that kind of money to spend on reusable paper towels?

Regardless of all these negative traits, something worked. I haven’t used a paper towel in over a year. I swapped to cloth towels.

Americans spend approximately $5.7 billion per year on paper towels. The next closest country, France, spends about $635 million. Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic

If $50 seems expensive for 24 reusable rags, how much are we spending per year on paper towels?

According to Eco Family, the average American family is spending about $320 per year.

I’d need to buy 144 reusable towels to come close to that yearly price. I’ve bought 48 for my husband and me. We don’t need more.

We saved $220 last year on paper towels, and we’ll save $320 every year going forward.

“Globally, discarded paper towels result in 254 million tons of trash every year.” Courtney Schwartz, Cottage Care

It’s important we reduce that number. That’s what I switched from paper towels to Marley’s Monsters.

They’re everything you wish a paper towel would be but actually live up to the expectation.

They’re absorbent. The towels are soft and strong. They cling to each other on the towel holder, no towel drawer needed. The towels wash well in the laundry. There are many options of various patterns and colors to fit your style. They don’t disintegrate or fall apart when absorbing water.

The few negatives might include the upfront investment cost. This is somewhat irrelevant. If you’re already spending $17 on a pack of paper towels, you’re not spending that much. Plus it’s a longer-lasting product.

The only other negative is I have to keep a basket for the dirty cloth towels. I swapped my towel drawer for a dirty rag basket. It’s cute, functional, and out of the way. I don’t consider it a negative.

I helped save 17 trees and 20,000 gallons of water by ditching the paper towel.

Professional Engineer turned Entrepreneur www.lifeoflydi.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store