Americans consume around 13 billion pounds of paper towels annually—that’s equivalent to throwing out 270 million trees every year. While paper towels generally have a small carbon footprint, collectively they are contributing to deforestation, global warming, and an ever-increasing waste problem.

To reduce your paper towel usage:

  • Grab the sponge. When there’s water everywhere, nothing beats the absorbing power of a sponge. Pass on a wad of paper towels and grab the sponge. Keep your sponges clean by following these tips.
  • Cotton cloths. Keep a stash of wash cloths in a kitchen  or bathroom drawer. Use for wiping down countertops and anything else. Rinse and reuse until dirty and then toss in the laundry. They offer a lot more scrubbing power and won’t fall apart like paper towels.
  • Yesterday’s newspapers. Dry your glass with a newspaper and get a streak-free window every time.

With gratitude from Green Newton for this helpful information to “e” inc. – the planet science learning and action center (114 16th Street, Room 1030, Boston, MA 02129).