I work for VPR and listen to the Ted Talks all the time.
This is so true, we waste so much paper with paper towels. I came to this realization in my own home years ago, so started setting aside an array of rags. They are great! Here's a photo. I store them in my picnic basket which would only sit empty if it didn't do double duty
I use newspaper for washing windows and mirrors using vinegar and water. It saves a lot of money too.