Did you know that if you quit using paper towels for one year, and instead used a personal hand towel (as is customary in Japan), you would save 1/4 of a tree, conserve 250 gallons of water, cut carbon emissions by 34 lbs. and reduce landfill waste by 23 lbs.? When I first heard that, it didn't seem like that much... I mean, come on, 1/4 of a tree a year? But then again, these are not little saplings we are talking about. And it's not just me we're talking about, either. So, yeah, it didn't seem like that much... until I started adding it up:
- 20,000 gallons of water are polluted and 24 trees are consumed to make one ton of paper towels - all for a single use and thrown away.
- Every day over 3,000 tons of paper towel waste is produced in the U.S. alone.
- Paper towels, decomposing in landfills, emit powerful greenhouse gases.
- Paper was the largest contributor to municipal landfill waste in 2006.
- The average person uses 2,400 - 3,000 paper towels outside the home each year.
That's pretty huge. Enter PeopleTowels, a really cool company that is spreading awareness about the magnitude of the environmental impact of disposable paper towels. They also offer a solution: reusable personal hand towels made of organic, fair trade cotton, and printed with witty, whimsical, and thought provoking designs.
Very cool, I thought when I first discovered them, and entered a contest on the PeopleTowels Facebook page. I won my first three PeopleTowels and have been a huge fan ever since. Now, if you're like me, you might wonder why you would want to spend money on a little towel instead of making your own. Or using your pants. I am all for DIY, but once I got these towels in my hand, I realized that they are pretty much perfect in every way. The size is perfect. The the organic cotton is wonderfully absorbent and dries quickly. The prints are so cute, and they use eco-friendly dyes to print them. They are nicely hemmed and even have a convenient hanging tag. The folks over at PeopleTowels are awesome and I am really happy to support them.
Last month I entered the PeopleTowels "Where's Your Towel?" Photo Contest and was one of three winners! Here's my winning shot of my trusty PeopleTowels hanging out between shifts:
And just for fun, a couple of outtakes of my girls with our towels:
And here is the awesome Eco Swag Bag I won!!!
(Which, as I hoped and expected, was shipped with minimal packaging)
Insulated recycled tote from Blue Avocado
20oz insulated Klean Kanteen
3 Preserve containers
1 reusable stainless steel straw (I've been wanting one of these for months!!)
1 To-Go Ware RePEat bamboo utensil set
1 Lunchskins reusable sandwich bag
Zhena's Gypsy Tea (not shown)
Pretty awesome, right?!?!
If you're ready to snag your own set of PeopleTowels, head on over to their website and check out the ever changing designs and limited edition prints, and use the code "ambassadoru5b0c" for 10% off your purchase of two or more towels! Also be sure to "like" PeopleTowels on Facebook to keep up with their specials and contest and giveaway announcements!