Updated: Apr 16, 2020
Over the past few decades, disposable products have unfortunately become the norm. By now, most people are using them so much that they don’t even realize it let alone how much they contribute to landfills. Luckily, some of us have by now realized that almost all of these disposable products have a more sustainable alternative. When you start your zero waste journey you encounter several sustainable substitutes like reusable face rounds and reusable fruit and vegetable bags. Reusable kitchen towels is maybe a lesser-known substitute.
Have you ever noticed how many paper towels the average human uses in a year? For some people, only a few drops of something that was spilled is needed to take several disposable paper towels, wipe it up and throw them away. Did you know that in the US over 2500 tons of paper towel waste is generated per day? That is more than 40.000 trees each day! This is shocking and totally unnecessary as there are super easy and beautiful alternatives.
Are you a bit of a DIYer and do you love to sew? Find a few pretty fabrics (every sewer always has a few ‘forgotten’ fabrics that can be used for projects like these) or maybe you have worn out clothing that can be upcycled into cloth paper towels. Your kids' clothing that they have grown out of is also a nice source of adorable fabrics that can be used for this project. A serger is ideal for this but a normal sewing machine can do the job as well. Just be sure to cut neatly and use a narrow zigzag stitch. The youtube video below is a nice example.
Would you like to be able to roll your towels? Pop a few snaps on each side so you can easily ‘tear’ of individual towels.
Are you not so much of a sewer? In my shop, I have several set of unpaper towels with lovely prints available to suit each household. One side has a beautiful print, the other side is white muslin cloth. The muslin cloth is a very thirty fabric that can easily wipe up your spills and dry your hands.
Do you prefer to use fabric that is organic? These unpaper towels are made with a super soft organic bamboo cotton mix. They are so soft that I don't mind cleaning my face with these. These are even more absorbent than conventional cotton ones. They are a little bit thicker and are great to use as napkins.
Even if you prefer the feel of the paper towels there are alternatives made with bamboo that can be washed over and over again. These towels remain their form and texture even after washing. These are much more thirsty compared to regular paper towels. If changing to unpaper towels might seem like a too big step, this might be an alternative for you to try.
As you just read, there is a great alternative to disposable paper towels. Which one are you using?