Cloth Napkins: One Small Step to Reducing Waste

Categories: Community Voices, Redefining Trash, Social Action

It is hard for all of us to be thinking about the environment during the pandemic, but it is still possible to maintain some of our green practices despite the situation. Since we all are spending more time at home these days, and specifically in the kitchen, I thought I would focus there.

This tip is about napkins. For years, we used paper napkins and would compost them after they were used, feeling good that we were sending the paper back to the earth. However, an even better practice is using cloth napkins.

Having several sets of cloth napkins allows you to use one, wash one, and/or save “nice” ones for company. It’s easy to throw them in with the towels, avoiding the environmentally unfriendly practice of doing an extra load of wash.

Cloth napkins are generally not too expensive, come in a variety of textures and colors, and do last a while. In the end, we probably have even saved a little money as we rarely buy paper napkins anymore. We will occasionally use paper when we have lots of guests or if we know dinner might be particularly messy.

Once the napkins are too stained or frayed, we put them with our textile recycling (a topic for a future article).

So consider purchasing some cloth napkins. It’s a nice, small step to reducing waste, and since most of us are not eating out much these days, it might even give you more of a restaurant feel when you are dining at home.





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