Here are some very unsettling facts about paper towel usage in the United States…
- The average person uses 2,400 – 3,000 paper towels at work, in any given year.
- Every day, over 3,000 tons of paper towel waste is produced in the US alone.
- If every household in the United States replaced just one roll of paper towels (70 sheets) with reusable cleaning cloths, we could save 544,000 trees.
- To make one ton of paper towels, 17 trees are cut down and 20,000 gallons of water are consumed.
- 3,000 tons of paper towel waste will have been created by midnight tonight. That’s about the weight of 3,000 economy cars.
- Harvard University estimated that paper towels often account for 20 to 40 percent of waste (by volume) from office buildings or dorms.
- Decomposing paper towels produce methane gas, a leading cause of global warming.
- 13 billion pounds of paper towels are used each year. That’s over 45 pounds of paper towels per person, per year.
- 90% of American households use paper towels for cleaning every day.
- If every American reduced the number of paper towels they use by just one per day, we would divert 571,230,000 pounds of paper waste each year.
Yikes, it’s hard to digest facts like that! Paper towels are so convenient and easy to use, but our environment pays a hefty price for all that convenience.
Here are some ideas to help reduce our paper towel habit
- Use the hand dryer whenever possible.
- Shake off your hands before drying them.
- Switch to reusable options, like DOC Cloths
For hand drying: DOC recommends using micro fiber cloths. They are soft, absorbent and save a ton of paper towels. Just throw them in the washing machine regularly to sanitize.
For cleaning: DOC recommends bamboo fiber DOC Cloths. These all natural cloths are absorbent, reusable and absorb 99.9% of bacteria and germs. Then, they rinse clean with warm water.