Marley’s Monsters UNpaper Towels are a great way to ditch single-use paper towels. Emeraldology is not affiliated with Marley’s Monsters, but we’re big fans of their reusable products!

Follow @emeraldology for shopping discounts and lighthearted content about eco-friendly actions.

In a previous post we analyzed America’s paper towel addiction. Here’s what we found:

  • American’s spent $5.7 billion on paper towels in 2017 – nearly nine times more than the next top spender (France spent $635 million).
  • It takes 17 trees and up to 20,000 gallons of water to make one ton of paper towels.
  • If every U.S. household replaced one roll of virgin fiber paper towels with ones made from 100% recycled content we could save 544,000 trees.

Single use paper towels are incredibly wasteful and, unfortunately, incredibly American. But the good news is there are plenty of alternatives. I’ve been using Marley’s Monsters UNpaper Towels for about a month and I’m ready to sing my praises from a mountaintop.

Do Marley’s Monsters UNpaper Towels Work?

In short: yes. Marley’s Monsters Unpaper Towels work very well for everyday surface cleaning.

The towels are 12″ by 10″ sheets of 100% cotton flannel and my goodness do they get the job done. They work for wiping the counter, cleaning up muddy paw prints, soaking up spills and messes, covering food in the microwave, wrapping food in the fridge — almost anything you would do with a paper towel.

After seeing that I spent $84 on a 24-pack with a wooden holder, my wife was pretty skeptical at first. But after a week or so, she reluctantly admitted that she prefers the UNpaper Towels to paper ones.

This is the highest compliment an eco-friendly product can receive in my household.

How to Reuse Your UNpaper Towels

The big question is whether the UNpaper Towels still work after being washed and re-rolled onto the wood holder. Not only do they still work, but they are actually more absorbent after a machine wash and dry, just as Marley’s Monsters claims.

Re-rolling the towels onto the wood holder is a breeze. Just take 5 minutes to neatly stack then towels and roll the dowel over them like a rolling pin. The UNpaper Towels cling to each other as they roll onto the holder, creating the same effect as a roll of paper towels.

UNpaper Towels come in a variety of colors and patterns to fit your home decor. I got the variety pack and admittedly some of patterns are a little cheesy and childish, but so am I so it kind of worked out…

However, my wife says she would have chosen plain white fabric for aesthetic reasons that are well beyond my grasp.

Check out these eco-friendly product bundles in the Emeraldology Shop!

Are Marley’s Monsters Unpaper Towels Eco-Friendly?

This product is absolutely an environmental upgrade from single use paper towels, even ones made from recycled materials.

  • Packaging – Marley’s Monsters ships plastic free which is a huge upgrade from the plastic wrapping around paper towels.
  • Shipping – UNpaper Towel’s are in some home goods stores, but mostly ship direct to consumer. Paper towels, on the other hand, sell primarily in-store. Just imagine the amount of space paper towels take up on trucks as they ship all over the world.
  • End life – People use paper towels once — maybe twice — before throwing them away. Fortunately, they can go in compost. Unfortunately, that rarely happens, and they often end up in landfills where they release methane. UNpaper Towels are reusable for years and can go in compost (although they will take longer to break down).
  • Supporting small business – Mega-corporations like Procter & Gamble and Georgia-Pacific (a Koch Industries subsidiary) own big paper towels brands like Scott’s, Brawny, and Bounty. These corporations have shown more willingness to fight environmental regulations than follow them, let alone do the right thing on their own. Marley’s Monsters is a small family business in Eugene, Oregon with genuine concern for the environment, and a BRING certificate to prove it.

The one environmental issue I see is the use of cotton, which is very resource intensive and environmentally costly crop.

However, over time, the environmental stress of single use paper towels far surpasses the upfront environmental cost of reusable UNpaper Towels. And choosing Marley’s Monsters organic UNpaper Towels can mitigate that upfront environmental cost.

Are UNpaper towels worth the cost?

UNPaper Towels also comes with a larger upfront financial cost that will pay for itself over time.

A 24-pack of organic UNpaper Towels costs $70, a wooden holder costs $38 and shipping for orders over $100 costs $5. So all-in it costs $113 to get on the organic UNpaper Towel train. (Pssst: you can save money by skipping the wooden holder and using a dowel or the tube from your last roll of paper towels.)

A 12-pack of Bounty double rolls costs $19.88. You will break even on UNpaper Towels after the sixth 12-pack of paper towels, all while saving 72 rolls-worth of single use paper towel waste.

This is pretty typical for eco-friendly products. They are often more costly up front, but contribute to long term cost and environment savings.

Enjoying our eco-friendly product reviews? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to have reviews, Hopeful Headlines, and Climate Bum of the Week sent right to your inbox!

Copyright Emeraldology 2020.