If there ever was a time to ditch those wasteful rolls of paper towels now is it. During the holiday season, folks tend to spend more time in the kitchen (personally, I go into full-on bread pudding-baking-mode) while also sprucing up the home with unique decorative touches (gotta impress those guests).

To help curb paper towel usage — according to Planet Green, 90 percent of American households use them for cleaning which results in 3,000 tons of landfilled paper towel waste each day — versatile and reusable dish and tea towels are the way to go. They’re essentially the same thing although tea towels tend to be more DIY design-centric (type “tea towel” into the search box on Etsy and be prepared to be amazed) and can also replace napkins and serve as décor objects whereas dish towels serve a more heavy duty, utilitarian purpose. 

Below are a dozen beautifully and cleverly designed dish and tea towels just waiting to be invited into your home over the holidays. They’re all made from cotton, linen, cotton/linen blends, and, in several cases, organic cotton. Several are also printed with nontoxic, water-based inks. Take a look. 

I'm Not a Paper Towel Dish Towel @ Perpetual Kid ($9.99)

Showpony Eat Your Greens Towel @ Supermarket ($17.50)

Ferm Living 'Kitchen' Tea Towel @ Branch Home ($16/2)

Eat at Home Towel @ Target ($10)

High Frugality Dish Towels @ UncommonGoods ($45/4)

Mr. PS Veggie Brekkie Tea Towel @ Etsy ($14)

Miramekko Kissaminttu Tea Towel Set @ FinnStyle ($25/2)

Artgoodies Deer Towel @ Elsewares ($15)

Skinnylaminx 'I Wish We Had IKEA" Tea Towel @ Etsy ($12.50)

Fog Linen Towel @ HORNE ($16)

Bailey Doesn't Bark 'Useful' Towel @ Bailey Doesn't Bark ($25)


Girlscantell Amazing Kitchen Utensils and Mixer Diagram Towels @ Supermarket ($20/2)

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

The inside dish (towel)
Do you spend more time in the kitchen during the holidays? If so, opt for uniquely designed, versatile tea and dish towels instead of paper towels.