We keep paper towels in a cabinet for certain messy situations, but not within easy reach. Paper towels are one-use, bleached products that are not recyclable (except for the brown paper core). We use cloth instead- one for dishes and one for hands.
If you can’t pry the paper out of your hand right away, look for half or quarter sizes and unbleached versions. If every US home used 3 less rolls a year, we’d reduce paper waste by 120,00 tons. One less roll a year would save over half a million trees. You use cloth towels in the bathroom- why not in the kitchen as well?
Note: Americans use 25-50 billion disposable coffee cups each year.
I’ve been going to the same (nationwide chain) coffeehouse for years. I started bringing my own mug, but I forgot last time. When the barrista determined that I was staying at the cafe, she asked if I wanted a mug. I didn’t even know that was an option. I asked if this was a new policy- she raised an eyebrow and shook her head. Instead of throwing away a cup, lid and a coffee sleeve, ask for a mug or bring your own!
If you’re already doing this- kudos to you. It takes a while for some of us to catch up…