Here's How You've Been Using Paper Towels Wrong Your Whole Life

Here's your daily revelation: You've been using paper towels wrong your whole life. I know you're really annoyed about hearing you're doing something "wrong" again, what with the countless articles online reprimanding you for your habits. But this is about the environment, and not just some kind of new-fangled "life hack," so just stick with me on this one. This TEDx Talk by Joe Smith will actually make you shudder as Smith explains that in America, 13 billion pounds of paper towel go in the trash a year. And that's just in America. Smith's thesis is that if, after we wash our hands, we only use one sheet of paper rather than half a roll all balled up, we could save 571,230,000 pounds of paper a year. That's a lot of trees.

If you enjoy living on planet Earth and would like to continue doing so, this video has some pretty valuable information. I mean, it's a common sense no-brainer, but how many of us are really conscious of how much paper towel we're using every time we wash our hands? By being more aware, we can be better global citizens, and work towards preserving our environment. Here's how it works:

1. Shake

This seems like a really missed opportunity for a "Shake It Off" pun. Anyway, after you've washed your hands, shake the excess water off.

2. Fold

Fold the paper, and use it to dry your hands.

3. Look! Dry!

Smith does the shake and fold method with different types of paper with different absorbency levels, and the results are uniform. Dry hands! So next time you use a paper towel, make sure you only take one.

Watch the whole video below:

TEDx Talks on YouTube

Images: Seth Tisue/Flickr; YouTube (3)