Reusable paper towels are just one of many zero waste products that truly can make a big difference. If you have made the switch to reusable kitchen cloths, then you really can give yourself a big pat on the back.
Here are just some of the many reasons that you should feel proud if you have decided to make the switch to this reusable product:
Reusable Kitchen Towels Save Trees
U.S. Census data and Simmons National Consumer Survey (NHCS) showed that 318.4 million Americans used paper towels in 2019. This figure was projected to increase to 328.07 million in 2023. By using reusable kitchen towels, you can help try to make sure that the figure drops rather than increasing over the next few years.
The problem, of course, is that paper towels are not always made from paper sourced responsibly. Of course, some paper pulp is made from recycled material. But much of the wood pulp used to make paper for kitchen paper towels comes from virgin forests, and from non-sustainable mono-crop timber plantations.
Americans using around 13 billion pounds of towels annually—that is equivalent to throwing out around 270 million trees every year!
Switching away from bulk, disposable paper products, we are withdrawing our support for the damaging timber industry. Simply put, switching away from paper towels saves trees. And we need all the trees we can get if we are to mitigate the effects of global greenhouse gas emissions. Perpetuating the paper pulp industry is not a good way to go.
Reusable Kitchen Towels Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Paper towels generate about 0.06 lbs CO2 each. This means that even if you use 10 each day, in a year your paper towels would general 219 lbs of CO2.
This might not really sound like much on an individual basis. But the pulp industry accounts for about 0.5% of total CO2 emissions in the U.S. So all those many paper towels really start to add up. They can, collectively, have a huge negative effect.
If you have switched away from kitchen towels, this is like, on average, driving around 173 miles less each year. Every little makes a difference, so this simple step is one more great way to reduce your carbon footprint and help tackle our climate crisis.
Reusable Kitchen Towels Reduce Waste Significantly
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), paper and cardboard waste—of which paper towels are a contributing factor—make up the largest percentage of waste materials in the U.S. So in order to reduce your waste burden on society and the environment, it is vital to look at this area. Avoiding the use of paper towels altogether and using reusable natural fabric cloths instead is a fantastic solution.
Paper towels are low quality paper, low in fibre content. So they cannot usually be recycled. You can put your paper towels in a compost heap to break down (as long as they are plastic free, and have not been used with harmful cleaning chemicals). But that still seems like a waste when you consider all the raw materials, energy, water etc. that have gone into making them.
Rather than throwing out multiple paper towels every day, when you switch to a cotton cloth you will only have one product to contend with. It should last for years to come. But when it eventually does reach the end of its useful life, your natural fibre cloth will biodegrade naturally leaving no harmful substances behind.
Reusable Kitchen Towels Save You Money
The benefits of reusable kitchen towels don't end with the environmental benefits either. It is also worth patting yourself on the back as you consider how much money you save. By avoiding disposable kitchen towels, you can save a considerable amount.
Of course, exactly how much you will save will depend on how much paper towel you would have used if you did not have the cloth alternative. But it is clear that by avoiding paper towels that are simply thrown away, the saving really will stack up over time.
Reusable Kitchen Towels Don't Mean Sacrificing Convenience
Another thing to be smug about if you have made the switch is that you'll not be working any harder to keep your kitchen sparkling clean. Using a reusable fabric towel to mop up spills and clean kitchen surfaces is really no more difficult than reaching for those disposable options. Simply mop or wipe, rinse your towel under your tap, and if necessary clean with a mild soap solution. Then you are ready for the next spillage or kitchen mishap. It really could not be easier.
And you should also think about the time you're saving, not having to order more kitchen towels, or nip to the store every time you run out.
What is more, reusable kitchen towels are not just good for mopping up skills and cleaning surfaces in the kitchen. They are versatile products that can actually be used in a wide range of different ways. You can also use them as napkins for picnics or packed lunches, to wrap fragile items in your kitchen cabinets or drawers, for dusting, or to keep windows sparkling clean. And those are just a few of many examples. These towels do a lot more than you might expect.
So if you have already made the switch – well done! And if you haven't? Well, there is no time like the present. It's time to make a positive change that will be better for the planet, better for society, and better for you and your family. Make the switch and it is certain that you won't want to turn back!