We talk a lot about eco-friendly paper around here. Of course, the greenest paper option is simply to use less paper. Sometimes, that's easier said than done, so I wanted to share an inspiring paper-free solution from a local Atlanta company.
It turns out that each employee at the Ranch has a personal, monogrammed hand towel with the first letter of his last name on it. Since Bill's last name starts with a P, his towel is emblazoned with a P.
Back when Bill started working there, he made a joke about disliking paper towels, and his awesome employers took it to heart. They quit ordering paper towels and switched to reusable hand towels. Just like that! They even keep guest towels on hand so clients can dry off without using disposables.
Cloth Towels By the Numbers
The Ranch launders the monogrammed hand towels, the guest/extra hand towels, the bath towels, bath rugs and kitchen hand towels once a month at the wash, dry, and fold across the street, and it costs around $20/month. They couldn't remember what they were spending previously on paper towels, since they'd made the cloth towel switch at the same time as they moved to a new office. Keep in mind though that the $20/month covers more than just their hand towels.
Let's say 2/3 the bulk of their laundry is reusable towels. That puts them at around $13 each month. If your company is replacing that paper towel roll once a week, they're probably spending around $7 to $10 on paper. That's just $6 more each month to make a big impact!
That doesn't seem too pricey for an office with 16 employees. What do you guys think?
The monogrammed towels cost $14.99 apiece and the guest towels were $20 for a 20 pack. That doesn't strike me as a terrible up front cost, considering that most companies spend quite a bit of cash to get new employees spun up.
Of course, not all companies are as forward-thinking as The Big Nerd Ranch. If your employer isn't into springing for reusable towels, you could always get yourself a PeopleTowel or some other reusable cloth towel to dry your hands.
Have you guys run across any savvy ways to reduce workplace paper waste? I'd love to hear about them in the comments!