Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Using Cloth Napkins - Works for Me!

About six months ago, I decided we were just creating too much garbage.

Remember, there are a lot of people living in my house. And we eat at home a lot.

Paper towels and napkins were being used at an alarming rate.

First we switched to kitchen towels instead of paper.

I went and got about a dozen extra towels (love Target) and committed to using them instead of paper towels. We kept our paper towel dispenser, but our consumption has gone down to about one roll a week. When do I use the paper towels? When we're out of the cloth ones (oops, forgot to do laundry) and occasionally for certain kinds of messes, like paint, which would stain the towels permanently. Otherwise, we've all become accustomed to the cloth towels.

Then I brought up the idea of cloth napkins.

And interestingly, my family went along with it just fine!

I ordered these wonderful napkins (and snack bags) from Gnome Clothes, a great little etsy store. They're a nice soft flannel, in different colors, and my kids love them.

(And then I hit Cost Plus and found a whole bunch of napkins on super clearance. I didn't care what color, and they are great.)

But the best part of the whole thing is this: I bought, while at Cost Plus, a pretty little wicker garbage can. And I leave it in the kitchen for the dirty napkins and towels. When it's full, we take it downstairs and wash napkins and towels. Perfect, don't you think?

We have cut our napkin use down to zero. I even put the cloth ones into lunch boxes.

(Except when we had a large party outside the other night. We actually had to look for paper napkins.)

What other disposables can we ditch?

I'm still working on it, and you can too, with Amy's challenge: Ditch the Disposables.

This napkin thing is working great for me.
Go see what other things are working for folks here....


Rebecca said...

I love using cloth napkins, too. We don't go through too many a week, so I just toss the dirty ones in the hamper along with everything else, and they hardly add to the laundry load at all.

You should come visit us over at the Green Baby Guide for Thrifty Green Thursday. It starts tomorrow evening!

Ilana-Davita said...

Maybe you could check this site:


Baby Tunnel Exodus said...

Thanks for a great reminder that it isn't that hard to do our part. Blessings, Whitney

Sherry said...

We just started using cloth napkins and rags. :D It is great to know how we can do a little part in helping our environment.

Miriam said...

I love my cloth napkins and towels. Dh isn't as on board and I occasionally buy him a pack as a treat. (Wow, dh! You were so sweet! Here's a roll of paper towels.)

The other great thing I've found are Foilers. Basically different-sized PUL shower caps that you use in place of plastic wrap. The company I bought them from seems to have gone out of business, though. :( They are wonderful!

TheGlutenFreeHomemaker said...

I just bought some cloth napkins at the thrift store last week so we could start doing the same thing. I love the wicker trash can idea because I have one that came with a hamper and I didn't know what to do with it!

Rebecca said...

We do the cloth napkin, dishrag, and cloth diapers. I just wish we could get rid of the cling wrap, we use way way way to much of that!

Convincing DH was easy. I totaled up what we spent on disposables in 2 months, and showed him that I spent less than that on a supply of cloth that will last forever.

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

Saw your link on Rocks in my dryer...and I love this. I have been slowly getting used to using things other than paper towels..I use washclothes in the bathroom, but I never figured out what to do with the cloth napkins...I love your basket idea!!