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05 May 2008 @ 08:35 am
Wasting Why?  
This morning as I grabbed a paper towel to dry my hands at work I thought "why on earth am I doing this?" When I'm in Japan I don't use paper towels. There aren't any. Everyone just carries around a handkerchief (or a small towel, if that's their druthers) and that's that. Why don't I just do that at home, and forget sending all these paper towels to the landfill?
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Sandpanthersandpanther on May 5th, 2008 07:28 pm (UTC)
How many uses do you give it before it goes in the wash?

Good question. In Japan it's more a matter of using it until I get home -- though I find if I don't air it out every night it gets kinda icky smelling. I'm thinking for practical usage here it makes sense to have two and just rotate them every other day, then wash 'em every week or so with the towels.

Do you have to dry it out before it goes back in your purse/pocket?

If you're putting it in your pocket, yeah, you probably want it to be a bit dry. Though that really depends on how much water you wiped off with it. It'll make your pocket slightly damp if you put it back in and leave it there for a while. In Japan I usually stuff it in my pocket until I put it into my day bag, and that's not a problem. So I'm thinking for around home, maybe leave it out on my desk in between uses and that should let it dry and keep my pocket from getting unpleasantly damp.
Erratica: Darkseid-hatroseembolism on May 5th, 2008 04:45 pm (UTC)
Not a bad idea, and it might even be more hygienic than using the towels at work.

Not to mention that handkerchiefs and hand towels have so many other uses at work:

* Removing hot items from the oven.
* Putting over your hand to shield you from plague germs when
opening the bathroom door.
* Putting over your face in case of fire or gassy fellow worker.
* Making an improvised sling or tourniquet in case of injury.
* Garroting terrorists who have taken over the kitchen area.
* Wrapping a rock in one end will make an impromptu flail in
case of riot or zombie attack.
K. Stonhamsakon76 on May 5th, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC)
...Eric, I begin to question your choice of workplaces.... :)
K. Stonhamsakon76 on May 5th, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC)
*lightbulb appears over head* Ooh, excellent idea! I think I must implement this one.
Damiri: Sesshomarudamiri on May 5th, 2008 05:34 pm (UTC)
When we got back from Japan last year, I did just that. My coworkers thought I was nuts, but it felt good knowing that I was doing the right thing for the environment. Not only are you saving landfill space, but also trees and fossil fuels (to make and transport the paper towels).
Sandpanthersandpanther on May 5th, 2008 07:30 pm (UTC)
Ooh, you might be the person to answer racerxmachina's questions above, having more practical experience with it at home. How did it work out for you? Any tips you'd care to share?
Damiridamiri on May 6th, 2008 12:03 am (UTC)
It worked pretty well. I didn't carry the towel with me. I left it hanging out of a desk drawer at work (so it could dry between uses). I took it home on the weekends to wash. The only complication was that if nature called when i was not at my desk, I had to swing by my desk on the way to the bathroom.
Cirdancirdan_havens on May 7th, 2008 01:00 am (UTC)
It seems to me part of it is the humidity in the Asian countries. Not sure if it's as true for Japan, but I had a friend always carry one because he was always sweating so much. Needed it for wiping brow and all, not just for restroom.
wrendj on May 9th, 2008 11:09 pm (UTC)
While in Japan last year I watched what the women did: folded the handkerchief up neatly when done and put it in their purse. Sometimes men were still drying their hands as they left the bathroom, and they folded up their 'kerchiefs and put them in their pocket. I would imagine they would toss their 'cheif in the laundry at the end of the day.

Until moving, when so many things became chaotic, I used a handkerchief to dry my hands upon return from Japan. I just folded it up and put it in my pocket or purse. I found if I shook my hands off pretty good before it didn't get too damp. Another practice I've implemented: flip-flops for the bathroom. Sharing a bathroom with my cat means there's always litter on the floor. With the separate bathroom footgear it keeps down the amount of litter *I* wind up tracking around the apartment. This conjurs a bizarre but not unfunny image, although I hope you know that's not what I really mean... ;)