Thursday, 25 April 2013

Save paper - save the planet

Here's something to think about: I was browsing the net for great ad campaigns and public service announcements and I came across this one from the World Wildlife Fund. This eco ad campaign emerged in 2007 with the aim of raising awareness about the negative impact of disposable paper towels on our planet. The dispensers have a cut out shape of South America through which a stack of green paper towels can be seen. The towels represent the rain forest canopy of the continent and, as the towels are gradually dispensed, the greenness of South America is slowly drained. The slogan at the top of the dispenser is "save paper – save the planet".

As with any good PSA, this campaign inspired me to find out more: so I did a little research and discovered these facts:
  • To make one ton of paper towels, 17 trees are cut down and 20,000 gallons (+- 92 000 litres) of water is consumed.
  • Every day, over 3 000 tons of paper towel waste is produced in the US alone.
  • Decomposing paper towels produce methane gas, a leading cause of global warming.
  • Paper was the largest contributor to municipal landfill waste in 2006 in the US.
  • The average person uses 2,400 – 3,000 paper towels at work, in a given year.
Now I don't know about you, but I've never really given using paper towels a second thought. The OCD hygienist in me would never even consider using the icky germ-infested,flannel towel equivalent, and those warm hand-dryers are a breeding ground for bacteria. So what's a girl to do? My solution: drip dry. Yes, it's not ideal, (and yes, sometimes it isn't great to wipe your damp hands on your pretty clothes) but even if you only pass on the paper towels once a week, it'll still help the environment in the long run. Now that's what I call being proactive! 


  1. No matter what you do to help the planet, what really matters is that you are doing something. In my case, I try to take shorter and cooler showers after my daily cycling.

  2. Thanks Mery, I totally agree! Every little bit helps :)