Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Cloth Napkins Could Save the Planet
Ok, maybe not all by themselves, but using cloth napkins helps a little. Today I took a load of them out of the dryer and wondered once again if I should keep using the older ones. My husband and I got them for wedding gifts: one pretty white cotton set and one rich gold set that matched our dishes. They both look pretty shabby now, and out of shame I did buy some maroon ones a couple years ago to use with guests. And my mother-in-law just gave me some pretty blue ones.
Yet I still can't bring myself to throw out the old ones. Every time I look at them I think about how much wood pulp we've saved by not using paper napkins. Who knows, there could be a whole tree out there not cut down because we wipe our mouths with these stained rags! All joking aside, I really have gotten a lot of use out of those 16 napkins. If you figure two uses a day, roughly 300 days a year, for 11 years, that's 6600 uses! So it's like not buying 6600 paper napkins. It takes a little work to wash, dry, and fold them, but that is the extent of the effort needed. I even have a small hamper in the kitchen to stuff the dirty ones in at the end of the meal because I am too lazy to take them to the upstairs hamper.
Then's there's the money we saved. I feel so smug walking down the paper goods aisle in the grocery store, watching those poor saps stuffing jumbo-size packages of Brawny into their carts. Now if I could just figure out a way to save on toilet paper...