Thursday, August 11, 2011

Eco-groovy or eco-nerdy? You be the judge.

At my workplace, like most in America, paper towels are offered in the bathrooms. I've often thought about bringing my own hand-towel to avoid using a (seemingly-) endless supply of paper towel, but have I followed through? Nope.

But I'm about to...because I've discovered PeopleTowels.  These handy-dandy little towels are made of 100% organic cotton and eco-friendly dyes. They dry quickly and each has a hangtag so you can hang it to dry between uses. Check this out:

So, use your own towel and save trees, reduce landfill waste, cut CO2 emissions and conserve water? I'm convinced--I went on the website, and from the designs offered, I chose these 3:

How about you? If you think that PeopleTowels are eco-groovy, you can get 10% off when you buy two or more towels online --just use this "promo code": ambassadorr4eaw

Do you think it's time to BYOTowel?


  1. I just wipe my hands on my butt.  Ooops - TMI?

  2. Nice job!  Groovy-nerdy.  My thing has been half-cocked recycling.  We diligently send used paper for recycling, but don't buy recycled content copy paper.  That's only observing half the equation which will never solve the problem.

  3. You could also advocate for adding air dryers to the bathrooms in your workplace. None of the bathrooms where I currently work have paper towels (not surprising, since the whole mission of the place is conservation education). In fact, one has a really cool "turbo" drier that puts out air with such force that it blasts all the water off your hands in moments - the skin on your hands ripples like it's experiencing G-forces! Clearly I am easily amused.

  4. Hygienists have said the air blowers blow any bacteria around to be caught by other people, and that doesn't apply to towels. I've also tried the turbo blowers - the ones by Dyson, at the Eden Project in Cornwall in England. *Very* fast suckers - they also save energy as the water gets sucked off so fast they only have to be used for seconds! (I am also easily amused.)

  5. nerdy, yes---but groovy, moreso---like it a lot---have already gone to cloth only in home kitchen---hope the extra laundry water doesn't cancel out the good---I don't think so----the few towels and dishcloths I use in a week fit in the loads I already do---want to experiment with vinegar as laundry detergent--works great on glass and stovetop and carpet stains---will let you know how it works on laundry!  Anybody in Patricia's readership know?  A couple of squirts of pure vinegar instantly takes out wine stain on  carpet or blouse---no need for toxic chemical---

  6. I completely agree with the concept. But, Devil's Advocate here: responsibly and sustainably managed forestlands are better than the alternative and shouldn't they be supported. In other words, I try to avoid use of much paper products, but prefer to make sure the paper products I do use come from good sources. I'm assuming there are some production costs associated with the towels. If they will eventually end up in a landfill, do they biodegrade as fast as a paper towel?

  7. Hi David,
    Thanks for stopping by! Yeah, trying to parse out the pluses and minuses of cloth vs paper towels is kinda like wandering down a rat hole (or, in your case, a rat snake hole--I visited your website ;o)  

    In my case, it's pretty clear tho. Since I often am often the only person working in the office, I can see that the pile of paper towels in the wastebasket are all mine. If the PeopleTowels claims are accurate--that the average persons uses 2,400- 3,000 paper towels at work in a year--then I'd have to guess that even if I tossed my cloth towel after a year, it just might biodegrade faster than all those towels (especially given how slowly things actually biodegrade in a landfill). But it's doubtless true that it would biodegrade slower than would a single paper towel.