11/30/2015 02:57 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

News Flash: You Might Not Be Using Paper Towels Correctly

We're accomplished people, and we know you are, too. We're good at our jobs, crush it in the friend department and can refinance our mortgage like nobody's business. We know stuff.

Well, most stuff. One thing we evidently didn't know was how to properly dry our hands.

Related: Why Lemons Are Better Than Xanax


We recently stumbled upon a TED Talk during which a lawyer from Oregon opened our eyes to how many public-restroom paper towels we've been wasting. (The number hovers around 571 million pounds per year--in America alone.) And his proposed solution is pretty genius.

Here's what you do: Shake your hands in the sink 12 times before even thinking about reaching for a sheet of paper towel.

That's it. Twelve shakes. (After that you'll only need a single sheet.) You'll rid your skin of excess water and save a tree...or a million. Try it.


Quite Possibly the Cleverest Use Ever for a Post-It
Here's How to Re-Cork a Bottle of Wine (Like a Genius)