After you wash your hands, if the public bathroom you are in does not have hand driers and you are forced to use paper towels, limit the amount of paper towel you take to dry your hands. You don’t need 3 feet of paper towel to dry off your hands, so just take the amount you need, which should be about 6 inches. Some may argue that a small amount does not “dry your hands all the way.” To avoid this, try shaking off the excess water and then dry them off with the small amount of paper towel. If your paper towel dispenser is automatic, rip the paper towel before it is released all the way. There will be a little hanging out, but then the next person won’t have to waste as many paper towel releases if they have enough. Your little step can go a long way.
I’ve heard many arguments in the past that, “it doesn’t matter how much I take they already chopped down the trees and made all these paper towels.” My answer is: True, however the key word here is reduce. If you reduce the amount consumed, then there will be more for other people to use, reducing the amount of time it takes to replace the dispenser. Eventually, the amount of paper towel the school uses will decrease and they won’t have to purchase as much reducing their costs.