100 Day Challenge #37: Serve with cloth over paper
We understand the convenience of paper napkins, and we too use them every grrrrrrrrreat once in a while. We've been using cloth napkins for decades, and we can’t imagine going back to paper. Whether it's a cereal breakfast in our pajamas or a dinner with friends, we choose cloth over paper.
The Sierra Club estimates that a family of four uses approximately 4,380 paper napkins a year. You do the math for all the families in the United States and you've added 4 billion pounds of waste to landfills and harvested 34 million trees thanks to paper napkins every year.
It's probably no surprise that we feel as though cloth napkins are much friendlier for the environment, but here are a few simple reasons why this easy change adds to our quality of life!
You buy them once and they last for years. Many of the napkins we use on a daily basis belonged to our mother/grandmother. She bought them many years ago and they're still going strong.
After the initial cost of buying the napkins, they're very inexpensive to maintain. When they're dirty, we just throw them into the wash with the rest of our clothes and they come out clean and ready for a new use. If you hang them on a clothesline, that will save you even more money. You also don't have to wash your napkin after each use! If you have avocado toast for breakfast, there's probably no need to wash your napkin. Now, after a messy bowl of spaghetti or eggplant parmesan, it's definitely time for the napkin to head to the washing machine.
Cloth napkins add beauty and civility to your life. They feel and look so much nicer than a paper napkin. You can get them in so many different colors and patterns. One of our favorite presents was a set of 12 Christmas napkins with a different theme on each one representing the 12 Days of Christmas. They're elegant and still playful.
Cloth napkins won’t fall apart and stick to your messy face or fingers. You just wipe and there are no remnants left hanging anywhere.
Once again you're not having to regularly buy single-use items at the store, bring them home, and then take them right back out to the trash.
Cloth napkins are much better at a picnic. You put them out, and you don't have to run after them if there is a breeze.
They are much more absorbent than paper napkins. If there is a spill they don’t fall apart and disintegrate.
They are versatile. You can use them to line a tray or basket to serve bread or crackers.
If you're still buying paper napkins, then give cloth a try! Why not start by committing to one week of only using cloth napkins and see how you like it? You'll be amazed by how much less waste leaves your house just by this simple change.