Zero Waste

Why You Should Stop Buying Paper Towels

March 30, 2020
Beautiful Kitchen with A Roll of Paper Towels
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It’s probably obvious I’m not a fan of paper towels. So much so that my collections always have a line of washable paper towels. Unpaper towels are sustainable towels made with absorbent fabrics  I have an ultimate deep-dive into these towels right over here by the way.

Like you, I wondered why I would ever make this switch. It was two things. First, learning the terrible environmental impact we make by buying paper towels. The second reason is more selfish: saving money. This is much like when I stopped buying plastic water bottles as a college student.

Much like plastic water bottles, they are an expensive convenience that does a lot of harm.

I had limited funds and did not want to spend it on water bottles. Ever since, I’ve been glad I made that switch even if it was for my own benefit.

So here are 3 reasons you too should ditch paper towels.

Paper Towels are an Environmental Scourge

You only need to look at these statistics to realize what detriment paper towels are to the environment. The most common statistic you can find online claims “17 trees and 20,000 gallons of water are polluted to make one ton”.

If every household bought one less roll, we’d save 423,900 trees.

It’s not just trees being used to produce paper towels. Machinery has to cut down the trees and put them on a truck. That truck has to drive it to the manufacturer. Once produced and packaged, they’re off to the stores. It’s a lot of fuel to power this production.

The Green Team organization says that 40% of our landfills is made up of paper products. They are hardly recyclable and, let’s be real, no one is composting them.

It doesn’t end there: to think about the amount of plastic it takes to package these endless rolls of paper towels!

Less Chemical In Your Home

Paper towels aren’t naturally white or absorbent. They are bleached and treated with other chemicals. These companies do not have to tell us what chemicals are used in this process. We do know they use formaldehyde and BPA. These are known carcinogens and hormone disruptors. 

You could purchase unbleached paper towels that is still probably chemically treated. But then you’re back to supporting a polluting, fuel-dependent industry with a lot of wasteful packaging.

Costly Convenience of Napkins and Paper Products

America spends A LOT on paper towels- more than any other country. Before you argue that must be due to our large population, know that we spend almost as much if you combined those countries’ spending on paper towels.  

The average family spends almost 200 dollars a year for our kitchen paper. Another blog calculated you could save up to a thousand dollars in 5 years. Everyone could save trees and money by making the switch. You could even start by reducing your use of paper towels.

A small pile of spare change with a plant growing out of it

What would you buy with an additional 200 dollars?

Beautiful Alternatives for Your Kitchen

As a designer, I love any opportunity to bring color and personality to my home. I love quirky tea towels and cutesy napkins. Unpaper towels are another opportunity to style your kitchen. With a growing variety of colors and prints, you’re sure to find something that will go perfectly with your kitchen! It’s no longer an eyesore but an accent piece!

Reusable Paper Towel Being Used to Wipe Counter

And a fun hint, you’ll be able to put away the ugly towel stand and replace it with a beautiful basket we offer. It will look great on your countertop and makes unpaper towels a lot easier to manage!

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