This Small Change You Can Make for Earth Day Can Save Over 571 Million Pounds of Paper

Source: YouTube
Source: YouTube

We've all been there: Despite how many paper towels you snag in the bathroom, it seems like your hands are never fully dry. It's the epitome of a first world problem, but nobody wants to touch your cold, wet hands, either. However, if people were to use just one paper towel per bathroom visit, the results would be extraordinary — over 571 million pounds of paper saved each year in the U.S. alone. 

That's according to Joe Smith, who explains an effective way to minimize your towel usage in what could be the simplest TEDx talk of all time. The technique, which he appropriately calls the "Shake and Fold," is a two-step process: Shake your hands 12 times, and fold the paper towel to ensure drying efficiency. 

Read more: You've Definitely Been Using Post-Its Wrong Your Entire Life

"Why 12?" Smith says. "12 Apostles, 12 Tribes, 12 Zodiac signs, 12 months and the one I like the best: It's the biggest number with one syllable." 

Smith divvies up the audience into two sections, one that shouts "Shake!" and the other "Fold!" And just like that, you're saving the planet, one paper towel at a time. 

Source: Giphy

Check out the full demonstration below, and don't forget to shake and fold this Earth Day and beyond.  

Source: YouTube

h/t topherchris

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Miles Surrey

Miles is a staff writer at Mic, covering culture. He is based in New York and can be reached at miles@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Tick saliva could be the key to fighting a dangerous heart condition

Ticks could hold the secret to treating this heart condition.

CNN retraction and undercover video feeds into pro-Trump media's "fake news" claims

The release of a secretly recorded video of a CNN producer on Tuesday has amplified criticism.

Lockdown lifted at Alabama military post after reports of "possible active shooter"

The Redstone Arsenal was briefly on lockdown Tuesday.

"No religion" is now Australia's most popular religious affiliation

The segment of Australia's population marking "no religion" is growing quickly.

Global ransomware hack hits infrastructure targets across Europe

Targets include Russia's biggest oil company, Ukraine's largest airport and its state power company.

France convenes youngest, most diverse Parliament in its history. Is this the future of Europe?

Thanks to Emmanuel Macron's newly formed party, the French government is more diverse than ever before.

Tick saliva could be the key to fighting a dangerous heart condition

Ticks could hold the secret to treating this heart condition.

CNN retraction and undercover video feeds into pro-Trump media's "fake news" claims

The release of a secretly recorded video of a CNN producer on Tuesday has amplified criticism.

Lockdown lifted at Alabama military post after reports of "possible active shooter"

The Redstone Arsenal was briefly on lockdown Tuesday.

"No religion" is now Australia's most popular religious affiliation

The segment of Australia's population marking "no religion" is growing quickly.

Global ransomware hack hits infrastructure targets across Europe

Targets include Russia's biggest oil company, Ukraine's largest airport and its state power company.

France convenes youngest, most diverse Parliament in its history. Is this the future of Europe?

Thanks to Emmanuel Macron's newly formed party, the French government is more diverse than ever before.