This is such an easy, simple change that can really have such an impact our environment. Did you know that 13 billion pounds of paper towels are used in the U.S. every year?? Over 3,000 tons of paper towel waste is produced every day and the average person uses 2,400 – 3,000 paper towels at work each year. 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…what crazy numbers!
There are also so many natural resources used to keep up with this consumption. To make one ton of paper towels, 17 trees are cut down and 20,000 gallons of water are consumed. On top of all of that, paper towels are so thin that they don’t contain enough fibers to be recycled, especially once they are soiled with food or liquids. And their composting leads to the release of methane, a top culprit of global warming. Yikes.
I made the switch to both cloth napkins and paper towels earlier this past summer in attempt to reduce our family waste and I can easily say we don’t even notice a difference in our day – besides not having to spend money on buying rolls and rolls of disposable paper towels. We use micro fiber towels as an alternative to paper towels for cleaning and drying. Going to cloth napkins is also more fun for entertaining! Using cloth napkins adds a bit of class to any meal and you can buy a couple of colors to match the seasons throughout the year.