And you thought you knew all about how to use something as simple as a paper towel? Look again in this TED talk by Joe Smith!
The key is shaking off excess water as much as possible before using your paper towel. Joe Smith suggests 12 shakes. After that fold your single sheet of paper towel at least once, then wipe dry both hands. Folding the paper towel allows interstitial suspension according to him, but I guess practically, a single sheet gets saturated with water and gets torn quite fast, so you definitely need to fold at least once before using. You do the same for toilet paper too presumably. Anyway, the effect of saving these paper towels goes a long way towards saving the earth. As for me, nowadays, I just wipe dry on my shirt.