Thursday, May 1, 2014

Paper Towel Free for a Week!


From April 10th- 17th of this year, I didn’t use a single paper towel. Surprisingly, it was the easiest routine change I’ve ever tried. Through helping promote the Chancellor’s Challenge with the Sustainability Office this year, I'd already started to use less paper towels, but going paper towel free for a week really solidified my opinion— that paper towels (specifically in restrooms) are unnecessary. I
now choose to shake my hands after washing them and then dry them on my clothes or sometimes run them through my hair when paper towels are the only option. I used to think it was rather gross to leave the restroom without completely dry hands but I realized one day that it shouldn’t matter to me. Reason being, I live with a fairly common condition known as hyperhidrosis where the sweat glands in my hands are overactive— I have to shake peoples’ hands and open doors with extremely not-dry hands all the time anyway. It’s difficult, but I’ve just come to accept it and usually (but unfortunately not always) people understand! I know not everyone can relate to this specific condition, but I know many people have had to use a sketchy public restroom before with no paper towels or air dryers, and you know what? I think we survived leaving with not-dry hands! There are of course several factors to removing paper towel dispensers campus-wide, but for now I at least encourage trying to go paper towel free for even just a couple days, because it’s a surprisingly easy habit to change and simultaneously makes a huge impact on waste at UCSC!
By Lauren Korth

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