How to Avoid Wasting Paper Towels

How to Avoid Wasting Paper Towels

Reduce Usage

The first step to avoiding wasting paper towels is to simply use less of them. Here are some tips:

  • Dry hands with a reusable towel or cloth instead of paper towels. Keep some small hand towels near sinks for this purpose.

  • Use a dishcloth or sponge for cleaning up spills and messes instead of paper towels. Consider using rags or reusable cloths that can be washed.

  • Use reusable napkins at mealtimes rather than paper napkins. Cloth napkins can be easily washed and reused.

  • Try using a hand dryer in bathrooms rather than providing paper towels. This completely eliminates paper towel waste in bathrooms.

  • Provide reusable towels in kitchens and breakrooms for cleaning up spills and messes instead of paper towels.

  • Use reusable wipes for cleaning counters, appliances, and other surfaces instead of disposable paper towels.

  • Stop the habit of using paper towels for wiping hands unnecessarily. Only use them when truly needed.

Use Strategically

When you do need to use paper towels, be strategic about it to avoid waste:

  • Tear off only what you need. Don’t pull off a huge wad of paper towels if you only need one or two sheets.

  • Reuse paper towels if they are still relatively clean and unused on one side. You can often get a few uses out of one paper towel.

  • Use both sides of paper towels before throwing them away. Fold them over and use the clean side before disposing.

  • Use smaller paper towels like the half sheet size. This automatically reduces usage compared to larger full sheet paper towels.

  • Shake hands over the sink after washing rather than drying with paper towels.

  • Consider using cloth-like reusable paper towels that can be washed and reused rather than disposable ones.

Recycle and Compost

If you do end up using paper towels, make sure to recycle or compost them:

  • Recycle clean and unused paper towels that have no food or chemicals on them.

  • Compost any soiled or used paper towels. This keeps them out of landfills.

  • Look for paper towels made with recycled materials to further reduce waste.

  • Know the proper way to recycle paper towels in your municipality. Some have special rules.

  • Line trash bins with used paper towels instead of using plastic liners. The paper towels can then be composted.

Buy Eco-Friendly Products

When purchasing paper towels, choose eco-friendly options:

  • Look for paper towels made from recycled paper or sustainable bamboo sources.

  • Choose unbleached or chlorine free paper towels to reduce use of harsh chemicals.

  • Buy smaller or half-sized paper towels to automatically reduce usage.

  • Choose paper towel brands that use minimal packaging or recycled packaging.

  • Opt for paper towels with eco-friendly certifications like the Forest Stewardship Council.

  • Purchase biodegradable paper towels if available to minimize landfill waste.

With some conscious effort, it’s easy to avoid wasting paper towels on a daily basis. Small changes make a big environmental difference over time. Implement these tips to use paper towels only when truly needed.