FYI: You’ve been using paper towels wrong this entire time

We’re no strangers to TED Talks here at HelloGiggles (and as humans who hang out on the Internet a lot). They are uplifting, they are informative — and sometimes they are a slap in the face, in an…important way.  Joe Smith opens up his TEDx Talk by letting the audience know that in America ALONE we use 13 billion pounds of paper towels a year, and that if we all used just one when we washed our hands, we would conserve 571,230,000 pounds a year. That’s over half a billion pounds! But his TEDx Talk isn’t just promoting awareness. He shows us how to do it.

Smith begins the demonstration by washing his hands and then shaking the water off of them. Then he folds a single paper towel and uses it to dry them. If you’re like me and you are skeptical because drying your hands has always taken more, you should know he displays his palms to the audience — and they’re completely dry!

But it truly does not stop there. He does the demonstration multiple times, with different types of paper towels, demonstrating that no matter the absorbency, the single paper towel can get the job done. The audience is led in a repetitive mantra. Every time he wets his hands, one side of the audience commands him to shake the water off of his hands. Then, the second half yells for him to fold the paper towel.

With the way the status of our environment is, and the level to which we have depleted our resources with the tiny acts often considered inconsequential, the three seconds more it takes to shake off your hands before drying them with a single paper towel is worth it. Plus, after watching the video, I highly doubt you’ll be able to wash your hands without repeating the mantra every time too!

(Image via Shutterstock)