Updated: Aug 21, 2020
If you're like me, you've been doing your best to live "eco-friendly" by recycling, composting, etc etc. But if you're like me, with a couple of cute-but-oh-so-messy babes under your belt, you've also been getting that Costco pack of paper towels and going through one or two of those every couple of months!
Did you know that paper waste is the LARGEST contributor to municipal waste in the U.S?! 13 BILLION POUNDS OF PAPER TOWELS ARE USED EVERY DAY IN THE UNITED STATES. You guys! Not only is this AMOUNT of waste a huge blow to our precious planet, but the common chemicals used to make those trusty paper towels so white? Chlorine and Formaldehyde. Both of these chemicals are known to be dangerous to the human body. BPA, a known hormone disruptor, is also commonly found in Paper Towels. So when you're wiping that organic yogurt off your sweet babes face? You're wiping it with a chemically bound, hormone disrupting product. YUCK!
What to do, what to do? Three words: Reusable. UNpaper. Towels.
"If every household in the U.S. used three less rolls per year, it would save 120,000 tons of waste and $4.1 million in landfill dumping fees." - https://cottagecare.com/blog/dirty-details-facts-paper-towels-sponges/
WHAT WE USE
Bambooee // The original reusable and machine washable rayon from bamboo paper towel replacement as seen on Shark Tank
PROS: This awesome company plants a tree for every roll purchased! I love these rolls for that, and as I have personally used them I can attest to the durability of them! They are machine washable and although the company suggests air-drying, after seeing some of the reviews of mold growing, I consider drying them in the dryer part of the sanitizing process! 3 months and they are still going strong, and mold free. Finally, bamboo is an extremely renewable resource.
CONS: They are not "certifiably" compostable. This is a bummer! They are made from pure rayon so I wonder if they COULD be composted...Doing more research on this currently.
They come out of the package pretty stiff! I recommend washing and drying once to increase absorbency and softness.
HOW TO STORE THEM
We keep it pretty simple! Two jars, one for clean towels, and one for dirty! It is important to hang them to dry if they are damp after use. Stuffing them damp in a jar is the perfect environment for MOLD to thrive in! When the "dirty" jar is full, wash, dry, and REUSE! YAY!
HOW TO WASH
Personally, I wash on "quick wash" with just a bit of Country Save Biodegradable Detergent in the load, on either warm or hot! Then simply toss in the dryer for 10 min on med or high. They do shrink up a bit, but I find that they are the perfect size after a wash and dry!
As I mentioned before, it's kind of a bummer that they are not certifiably compostable! But rayon/bamboo IS biodegradable! So, you can toss them in the garbage and rest in peace knowing that they will at least not be sitting there for five hundred years!
ANOTHER OPTION TO CONSIDER...
I plan on trying these babies out when my Bambooees run their course! There are a lot of options like this one, but I loved that Mioeco touts carbon neutral and ethical manufacturing!
Mioeco // 100% Organic cotton, washable and reusable unpaper towel
PROS: Cotton is 100% biodegradable so these babies are compostable! This brand claims to be responsibly and ethically sourced and GOTS certified + carbon neutral manufacturing. These are also machine washable and dryer safe.
CONS: Cotton is not as renewable as bamboo, and these may perhaps be more like "towels" than paper towels.
What reusable unpaper towel products are you guys using and loving?!
*For more comprehensive information on the harmful environmental effects of paper processing see: