6 Noteworthy Perks of Choosing UNpaper Towels - Zero Waste Cartel

6 Noteworthy Perks of Choosing UNpaper Towels

A Tale of Snacktime Tragedy 

One crisp fall day, you come home from work with a craving for chips and guacamole. You’re a few steps away from sweet, snacktime bliss.

Then disaster strikes when you shake up the salsa jar. The lid flies off and salsa splatters. Everywhere. 

Red-hot salsa blasts out of the jar and onto the fridge, the floor, your face, your dog. There’s salsa on everything. Everything but your poor, lonely chips and guac. 

Cue the Commercial

In situations like this, we want the mess gone pronto. That’s why every paper towel commercial starts with a similar problem: the puppy runs through with muddy paws, the soup spills, the baby smears mashed peas all over the table. 

Then the roll of paper towels appears to magically tidy things up.

It’s quick, easy, and convenient. But there’s more to the story than what you see in the ads.

The Dark Side of Paper Towels 

That little white roll sits innocently next to the sink. When it’s gone, another appears in its place. Maybe for one person, this process doesn’t seem like a big deal. Multiply this by millions of households around the world and the problem becomes serious. 

1. Unneeded Waste

Paper towels are — no surprise here — made from paper. Most paper towels contain a mix of wood pulp, printing ink, adhesives, and conditioners. Some of this wood pulp comes from recycled paper, while some comes from “virgin trees” that have been newly cut down. And because of the low fiber content of paper towels, they typically can’t be recycled again after use.

Using one or two rolls a week doesn’t look like much, but that becomes fifty to a hundred rolls a year. This leads to more waste, more tree loss, and a high cost to the environment. But it’s not just the environment taking the cost.

2. Unexpected Expense

The cost of a roll of paper towels averages around $1.50. That means a household using two rolls a week spends $156 a year just on paper towels. Over a lifetime, that number starts sounding laughable. 

With an adverse effect on the environment and an ongoing expense for consumers, paper towels are a costly form of convenience. While alternative brands offering tree-free or recycled products seek to lessen the damage, many of the same issues remain.

Which begs the question: Is there an effective way to reduce the negative impact without losing convenience? One answer to this problem is to ditch paper altogether.

The Perks of UNpaper Towels

What’s an UNpaper towel, you ask? Our UNpaper towels  are handmade with love by Marley’s Monsters. Each roll is made of soft, absorbent fabric in a variety of prints and colors. These 12x10 inch towels replace paper towels in the kitchen, the bathroom, or anywhere else you need some zero-waste cleaning power.

Besides being adorable, these towels spruce up your kitchen life in unexpected ways. Here are just a few of the bonuses of switching to UNpaper towels.

1. UNpaper towels protect the environment.

Paper towels are single-use convenience items that enter the landfill after wiping up just one mess. Because UNpaper towels are made from durable cloth, you can use them over and over. This reduces your household waste and the amount of paper you use. 

2. They cost less in the long run.

We have a few options of UNPaper Towels, depending on what you'd like:

Whichever option you go for - the upfront cost comes back to you in no time. You save by skipping the paper towels and a myriad of other paper products. (Spoiler alert: we’ll talk more about those in a second.) 

Plus - UNpaper towels are made to last. If you use one roll for two years, that’s a final cost of just $.80 a week — less than half the price of using conventional paper. And even after your towels show signs of wear, you can continue using them in less-visible areas of your home. 

3. They’re easy to maintain.

Just wiped up a splash of spaghetti sauce? Rinse your UNpaper towel in the sink and let it air-dry. Just wiped up a quart of spaghetti sauce? (Oops.) Good news! You can throw your UNpaper towels in the washer and dryer with your other towels.

Whether you handwash them or use a machine, the process of using and reusing UNpaper towels is simple. The only thing it adds to your routine is folding a few cloths — and that gives you more time to admire their fabulous prints.

4. UNpaper towels give your kitchen flair. 

Imagine walking into your best friend’s kitchen to see this on the counter. If you’re like us, you immediately say, “Oh, those are cute! What are they?” 

And chances are, everyone who walks into your kitchen will be curious too. This gives you a natural opportunity to discuss your efforts to live zero waste. Charming, practical, and a conversation piece = a score for your counter space.

5. They do more than you expect.

Here’s the spoiler alert we mentioned earlier. We love multi-use products, and these towels are versatility superstars. They make excellent napkins in your packed lunches. They leave mirrors and windows sparkling clean. You can even use them to cushion fragile dishware or wrap delicate fruit. The only limit is your imagination!

6. They add fun to your daily routine.

Wiping the counter with a sheet of white paper? Not very exciting. Wiping the counter using a cloth covered in bicycles? Definitely more exciting. UNpaper towels are a fun way to change up your routines and enjoy everyday tasks. 

7. You can have the best of both worlds.

When a kitchen disaster strikes, you need speed on your side. Pots always seem to boil over at exactly the wrong moment, when you’re already doing three things at once. Luckily, UNpaper towels are ready to jump into the fray with you.


Taking a stand for the environment requires making changes, but it doesn’t always require sacrificing convenience. UNpaper towels are easy to use, easy to clean, and easy on the earth. 

What’s your kitchen story? 

Tell us about your recent adventures in the kitchen — the good, the bad, and the eco-friendly. What changes have you made in your culinary habits throughout your zero-waste journey?



Save the trees & eliminate paper waste from your kitchen with these UNpaper towels made from felt & wood.


Swap your family's disposable sponges for these reusable, washable sponges made from coconut fiber.


Cuts stubborn grime and grease, without drying out your hands.

Writer, baker, and lover of nature.

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How many unpaper towels are on a roll?

Gail Scott

Sounds good. What kind of cloth material are the unPaper towels?
Thank you.

Paul Pierlott

I’ve used heavy duty dish rags from Williams Sonoma for years. They are only for the kitchen counters/stovetop. We don’t wash dishes with them. About every 2 days into the washer it goes. Have a stack in the drawer nearby. Go through about 2 rolls of paper towels (real greasy stuff, etc) a month—perhaps less.

Rita S

I assume once the individual towels are used and washed, they can’t go back onto the holder. I hope I’m wrong about that ;-)


Hello! I’ve been considering the upaper towels and just curious if they work to wrap lettuce? I find the best way to keep lettuce fresh and crisp is to rinse and the wrap in paper towels. Thanks for all you do to increase awareness!

Karen Conger

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