UNpaper towels, or reusable paper towels as they are commonly known, are a simple eco-friendly swap that you can make in your home today.
I remember when I made the switch. I was genuinely concerned about how much UNpaper towels would cost over and above my current paper option.
On average UNpaper towels cost between $10 and $30 (£8 to £25). The variance in cost is mainly due to the fact that reusable towels come in various sized multi-packs. The quality of the material used as well as any additional features such as snaps also affect the amount you’ll pay.
While this might seem a little expensive at first glance, when you compare reusable paper towels to a pack of standard paper kitchen towels, you must factor in the long-term cost.
Let’s see how UNpaper towels stack up against the paper options but first let’s make sure
What are Paper Kitchen Towels
Paper kitchen towels are one of those essentials that help us in our everyday lives. Due to their high absorbency, they are often used in an emergency for quickly cleaning up spills around our homes.
Whether it’s cleaning up after the children or running after dirty paws, paper towels have been a staple in most people’s lives for decades now.
But they have one main drawback – they are disposable meaning that once you’ve mopped up that spilt juice or food you’ve no choice but to discard the towel into the waste.
What are Reusable Paper Towels?
Reusable paper towels (UNpaper towels) can be used in exactly the same way as our disposable kitchen towels.
Made from fabrics such as organic cotton or bamboo they are extremely absorbent ensuring that those little accidents that happen every day are dealt with just as efficiently as the paper alternatives.
As the name suggests, the main benefit of using this kind of towel is the fact that they are reusable and I’m not talking about reusing these towels for a day or two. If cared for correctly UNpaper towels can last as long as 2 years.
Cost Comparison of UNpaper Towels vs Paper Kitchen Towels
So let’s now look at how much UNpaper towels cost compared to paper kitchen towels.
The main issue with reusable paper towels is the upfront cost and for that, you’ll need to know roughly how many UNpaper towels you’ll need.
If you’re not sure how many UNpaper towels you might need I wrote an article “How Many Unpaper Towels? How big is your household” which I’d encourage you to read next.
For this comparison, let’s take a medium household of up to 4 people that on average would need approx 10 reusable towels.
Now let’s consider how many paper towels the same medium-sized household might need in just one month.
Let’s say that’s 2 rolls of kitchen paper per month.
We know the average cost of a 10-pack of UNpaper towels is around $20 or £17.
The average cost of good quality kitchen towels is around $2.50 or £2.15 per roll so a 2-pack would be in the region of $5 or £4.30.
So let’s do the math:
What is clear from this chart is that whilst the upfront cost of reusable kitchen towels is much more expensive than regular paper kitchen towels, by month 4 you’ll have spent the same amount on disposable kitchen towels and by month 5 you’ll be saving money if you switch to UNpaper towels!
What is also worth thinking about is this chart shows the comparison of just one year. Should the UNpaper towels last two years then the savings are actually substantial.
In conclusion, many people think that following a more sustainable lifestyle is more costly however when it comes to kitchen towels the eco-friendly option can actually save you money.
Additional Saving Tip
Making your own reusable paper towels is actually not that difficult so if you are crafty why not have a go making them yourself? If you do then it might be worth you checking out another article I wrote on the “Best Material for Unpaper Towels“.
Let’s now take a look at the savings in terms of environmental costs.
The Environmental Cost Savings of UNpaper Towels
Whilst paper kitchen towels are not made of plastic we need to be mindful of the environmental impact these towels have.
I think one of the big concerns is that although paper kitchen towels can clearly be recycled the likelihood is that the majority make their way into landfill.
The main reason for this is the waste people recycle is usually dry. After using a kitchen towel to mop up spills it’s no longer dry and so gets tossed in the main trash.
By comparison, UNpaper towels made from organic cotton are a zero-waste option. After years of use, these towels can be washed and discarded in the organic waste bin.
We should also consider the packaging that paper kitchen towels are wrapped in.
Even if you’re only buying a single roll because paper towels need to be protected the most common packaging is plastic and so if you are trying to remove plastic, especially plastic waste from your life then clearly these types of products should be avoided.
The UNpaper towels I use from Tabitha Eve are simply wrapped in 100% recyclable cardboard.
One final consideration is the manufacturing and transport costs on the environment.
Any consumable product that is used regularly is going to have a higher CO2 footprint and so if we are able to switch to reusable products then we absolutely should.
So there you have it, there is a real upfront cost to UNpaper towels however not only can this be reclaimed over time but you’ll also end up saving money when you commit long term.
I really love my UNpaper towels which I bought from Tabitha Eve (see featured products below) not only because they are exceptional quality and get the job done but also because they actively reduce the cost to our planet.
Why not get yourself a pack?