Did you know that 3,000 tons of paper towel waste is created every day in the US? It takes cutting down 17 trees and 20,000 gallons of water to make one ton of paper toweling. That means it takes 51,000 trees and 60,000,000 gallons of water just to keep up with American paper towel consumption annually.
That seems like a waste of valuable resources for such a disposable product, like paper towels. With climate change being an ever-present concern, wouldn’t it be nice if there was an environmental alternative to paper towels?
Fortunately, there is! We’ve gathered 3 paper towel alternatives that will help save money, and most importantly, the planet we live on.
Paper Towel Alternatives #1: Newspapers
Our personal favorite green alternative to paper towels is newspaper! This abundant resource is often thrown away or discarded and can be collected for free. This is repurposing at its finest.
Newspaper is best used when cleaning glass surfaces such as windows, mirrors, or tables. Because it’s great at absorbing water, newspaper gives your glass cleaning a streak-free look. You can also use newspaper to soak up spills.
Just make sure the paper you’re using has soy-based inks printed on it. Although 90% of newspaper is printed with soy-based inks nowadays, some still are printed with petroleum base inks—these will bleed ink when wet.
Test for petroleum-based ink simply by pressing the newspaper between your finger and thumb for a minute. If there’s ink on your finger after, it’s made with petroleum.
Paper Towel Alternatives #2: Bar Mop Towels
Bar mop towels are a close second as an alternative to paper towels for cleaning. They’re made of 100% cotton and a great at absorbing up moisture. You can wash and reuse bar mop towels indefinitely.
They also have texture to them and effective at cleaning up messes that need a little scrubbing action. Made from completely natural materials, bar mop towels decompose very quickly when thrown away.
You can also buy repurposed mop towels for very little money. If you’re a small business in the commercial cleaning service that goes through a large number of towels, this is a great option to reduce overhead costs.
Paper Towel Alternatives #3: Terry Cloth Towels
We like reversible terry cloth towels as an alternative to paper toweling for use when drying hands because they are soft and great at wicking up moisture. Terry cloth has two different textures on either side. One side is rougher, while the other side is softer.
The unique way terry cloth is made creates a strong and durable towel, that lasts many wash cycles. Terry cloth towels are also usually made from 100% cotton, earning our environmental approval.
Saving the Planet One Towel At a Time
Using paper towel alternatives is only one small way we can help build a sustainable way of life for ourselves and the planet we live on. If sustainability practices are something that interests you, make sure to check out our lifestyle blog for more similar articles.