Do you really need rolls and rolls of paper towel?
I grew up with paper towel and it used to be a staple in my kitchen but when we had to cut costs, I stopped buy it and quickly found alternatives. It can be tricky when you have little ones because there are constantly spills and messes and something that needs to be wiped up.
With a little creativity though you can make another plan and ditch the single use paper towels completely.
Before I share some of the best eco-friendly alternatives to paper towels, lets look at a few stats about the impact that the manufacturing of paper towels have on the environment.
- In order to make one tone of paper towels, 17 trees are needed and 20,000 gallons of water are polluted.
- In the US, more than 13 billion pounds of paper towels each year are used. This is equivalent to more than 3000 tons of paper towel waste – JUST in the US.
- Globally around 254 millions tons of paper towels are discarded every year. 51,100 trees are needed to replace the paper towels that are discarded daily. (That is A LOT of trees).
- If every US household used just 3 less paper towel rolls each year, it would save 120,000 tons of waste and $4.1 million in landfill dumping fees.
That is a lot of waste that can be drastically reduced if you look for alternatives to single use paper towels and opt for a reusable paper towel roll. It is also not just about the actual paper towel, there is a lot more than just the sheets you use. There is the roll in the middle, holding it up plus the (generally) plastic packaging that the rolls are wrapped in that just gets discarded once you open them up.
If you are just starting on your sustainable living journey, this is an easy every day swap that you can make pretty easily and affordably.
The Best Eco Friendly Alternatives to Paper Towels
These are the 6 best reusable paper towels in 2021, all available through some of the sustainable stores in South Africa.
If You Care Reusable Paper Towels. These paper towels are reusable and they can be composted once you are done using them, even the packaging can be composted. . One roll of this paper towel will replace 18 rolls of normal paper towels. All you need to do is simply wipe up your spill or mess, rinse with some soapy water and reuse. These reusable paper towels can be used throughout your home, making them durable and versatile. You can get these paper towels through Faithful to Nature.
ecoegg Bamboo Towels. This is a 100% plastic-free product that is soft, absorbent and long lasting. You can reuse each sheet up to 85 times which means you can get 1700 uses out of one roll. These reusable towels can be used to wipe up spills as well as dust and dry – they are versatile and durable. The rolls can wrapped in a paper out which means it can be easily recycled. You can buy these rolls directly from ecoegg or from Faithful to Nature.
Faithful to Nature Sweet Sheets Roller Towel. This is Faithful to Natures own reusable roller towel. These towels have been made from sugar cane bagasse which means they have a lower carbon footprint than conventional paper. This product is also certified sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council. The roll inside the towels has been made from recycled material and the packaging is also made from paper that can be recycled.
Seva Reusable Towels. Ditch the single-use paper towels for these reusable paper towels. They can be used to wipe up pretty much any spill, mess and will leave your counters sparkling and shiny. Once you have used the towels, you can simply pop them in the washing machine and then reuse.
Oddpod Kitchen Unpaper Towel. These reusable paper towels are made by a small local company, so you are supporting a small business and making a difference in the environment. Made from 100% cotton flannel, these towels can be used to clean up pretty much anything.
Msulwa Life’s reusable kitchen roller towels. This brand probably has the best selection of designs of reusable kitchen roller towels. Like the other options these towels are super absorbent, durable and practical when you have messy little people running around your home. Packaging of these eco-roller towels is minimal and made from paper.
I am pretty sure that one of these will be the best eco-friendly paper towels for your home. Alternatively you can make your own paper towels. I cut up a few older towels and we use those to wipe up spills and messes. It gives old towels a little extra life and I am not bringing in additional things into the house (and we are not too precious if they get stained or damaged).