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Okay. So you’re using a public bathroom and you take a wad of paper towels to dry your hands. 3, 4 or even 5 sheets. It’s a huge waste, right?

Did it occur to you there is simply a better way to use the towel to reduce how much you need? Certainly didn’t to me…

Well, its something that has occurred to Joe Smith. I just watched a terrific 4 minute TED talk video on this very topic. Take a look here.

Using Joe’s very simple technique (that he wonderfully demonstrates) you could eliminate 571,230,000 pounds of paper towel¬†used each year in the USA alone.

That’s a lot of paper towel.

I confess, it’s not something that I have ever paused to think about. I suspect like most people, I just grab enough paper towel to make my hands dry without really thinking of the implications. But the benefits of Joe’s technique are extraordinary:

  • Reduced costs through lower usage
  • Reduced waste and landfill
  • Reduction in energy to make and transport the paper towel

Now you might be thinking that some kind of hand-dryer would be better for the environment and ultimately more cost effective – and you may be right. However, as a customer you’re not in control of which bathrooms do and do not use paper towel.

So if you do find yourself in a bathroom using paper towel – remember Joe’s advice.

This TED talk is a wonderful example of ‘thinking globally – acting locally’. It’s a terrific example of Lean Thinking and process improvement and well worth the 4 minutes of your time.

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