There are those who’d have us think the world has plenty of room for garbage, virtually infinite supplies of renewable resources. And maybe they’re right.

But just to be on the safe side — and because there is a certain elegance in trying to live light on the land and in finding the most efficient solution for any problem — I ask you to consider paper towels.

Have you ever given them much thought? Do you cringe when someone rolls off an arm’s length of two-ply to do what a sponge just as easily could? Sure I’m neurotic to let this affect me, but think of the waste! Cutting down a tree, burning diesel fuel to truck it to the mill and then grind it into pulp (or however they do that) . . . then wrapping the paper towel in plastic (another oil derivative), having, God forbid, printed designs on it first, before boxing it up and shipping it to the store (again: fuel) . . . and then the problem of disposing of it, once used, even if it does eventually biodegrade.

So there’s a lot to say about paper towels, and most of it ends with: “use a damn sponge!”

But that’s just my take on it. For a more practical look at paper towels, comparing their prices-per-absorbent-ounce, you could not be better served than by clicking here.

In so doing, you reap the added bonus (my ulterior motive) of a visit to up-and-coming website Shop! Information Services, which has weightier stories even than this one. It’s an ad-free consumer “newsletter” founded by and aimed especially at women (e.g., exposing false make-up credits by women’s magazines) — hence its acronym, SIS — but often of interest to people of any gender (e.g., an expose concerning anti-lock brakes).

Indeed, if you’re not all that interested in paper towels, no matter how absorbent, skip Scott vs Bounty (which is never likely to rival in gravity Roe vs Wade) and go straight to the SIS home page instead, by clicking here.


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