With three teens, our family goes through a lot of paper towels.
And what could be more wasteful than something that you use for less then a second, and toss? According to the folks at Bambooee, Americans produce 3,000 tons of paper towel waste each day. Plus, the nice ones that don’t fall apart are expensive (and probably doubly bad for the environment).
So when a pitch for bamboo-made towels that could be reused again and again came across my desk, I said we’d give it a wipe.
Better: Bambooee towels do work as advertised. They are much thicker than even the lux paper towel brands, and they’re very absorbent. Once used, you toss them in the washing machine, and as long as you don’t use fabric softener (not a problem in my house) they maintain their absorbency.
Bust: However, you have to train your family and cleaning help to not throw the towels out. That was challenge number one. But once they stopped throwing them in the garbage, they started tossing them on the counter. I came home after a weekend away to a smelly heap of used bamboo towels.
The second challenge comes after you wash them. They don’t reappear back on a roll. So you have to store them in a drawer or basket. At that point, it occurred to me that these were exotic dishtowels—bamboo instead of cotton—but, exactly what our grandmothers used to use instead of paper towels.
Would I purchase: No. Although they do plant a tree for every roll sold, my family “lost” too many to make it worth the price.
What we did do: We use size-a-sheet paper towels that encourage you to only use what you need for the job, and I have a supply of old-fashioned cotton dishtowels that I use for cleaning up counters and wiping down the kitchen. Bonus: The dishtowels come in cute designs and no one is confused about what to do with them.
Organic Bamboo Towels
$21 for 2 rolls, the company says 1 roll equals 60 rolls of paper towels