As you think about how to minimize the amount of waste you generate in your home, reusable alternatives to paper towels are a key consideration. However, some messes are so foul or poorly timed that a roll of absorbent paper is your first line of defense. You can still choose recycled paper or renewable bamboo, and compost whenever possible. Keeping your paper towels properly stored also helps reduce the amount of towels you need and can prevent pets from destroying them for sport, so you have them at hand when Pickles produces a hairball at the worst possible moment. Here are our favorites.