Today I want to share with you one of the easiest ways to reduce a few bucks out of your budget and do something go for the environment. Cloth napkins.
Now I know what you are thinking, she’s nuts. My kids are messy and the last thing I need is more laundry. I don’t have time to wash and starch and iron and fold napkins. Napkins? I thought you said I wouldn’t have to give up on my comforts in life.
Not to fret, The Maker family doesn’t either.
100% cotton napkins are not the way to go, they don’t wash well and after the first laundering they end up rumpled and wrinkled not to mention the manufacturing of cotton based napkins is much more intensive. Limit your purchase of cotton-based napkins although the most prevalent in stores. Instead, opt for organic cotton or another alternative material that has required less manufacturing. My recommendation is Pioneer Woman cloth napkins. They are attractive, wash well, and hold up through a ton of use.
Choose to wash your cloth napkins in cold water to reduce to the amount of energy used in the wash cycle, then hang them out on the line to dry.
If we reuse utensils, plates, cups, and food storage containers, why not incorporate cloth napkins?
Next time you are putting laundry in the washing machine, just imagine how easy it would be to do add a few cloth napkins to your load of towels.
I just wanted to get a few facts for you on why this change in your families life is worth it.
- Paper products are responsible for more than 28% of all waste in landfills.
- The U.S. alone uses over 160 billion paper napkins every year, adding up to 4 billion pounds of paper waste.
Another source from a curious blogger found some more interesting environmental impacts for paper napkins as well:
- 0.07 gallons of water is required to produce a 0.08 ounce paper napkin (not including water to grow the tree).
- 31,500,000 gallons of water would be used to make the 450,000,000 paper napkins used per day. This is equivalent to 477 Olympic size swimming pools or daily water use for 315,000 to 393,750 people (according to the U.S. Geological Survey, on average each person uses 80 to 100 gallons of water per day).
As an added bonus, my daughter and nieces think this makes every family dinner “fancy“, that alone is worth it to me.
Let me know if you made a similar switch in your house and how it’s working for your family!!