Friday, February 25, 2011

Saving trees one meal at at time

Recently, I inadvertently made a move towards switching us from paper napkins to cloth napkins. I've been meaning to make the switch for some time now, but I've just never gotten around to it. That changed when I spilled something all over our remaining, albeit short, stack of paper napkins, which forced me to make a decision one way or another.

It helped that my brother and his family use cloth napkins, and when I visited them in January, it seemed pretty natural and not a big deal. I guess I was thinking that cloth napkins were "fancy." So, I found some on clearance at Bed, Bath, & Beyond (because nothing says "not fancy" like Thanksgiving merchandise leftovers), and I was ready to go!

They're pretty awesome because they don't have to be washed every time I sit down for a meal. I noticed that sometimes I grab a napkin and just hang on to it without actually using it, and with a paper napkin, that means it gets thrown out for no good reason at all. Now, I can have my little security napkin in my hands and just put it right back on the table at the end of the meal. Also, even if I do use it, it can still be reused multiple times unless it's super grody. When they're ready to be washed, they just go in with our other laundry. Easy peasy.

10 comments:

Elly said...

Cost Plus World Market is a great place for napkins. They have that boho ethnic feel that I like, and they're pretty in expensive. (They also have non boho ones, and plenty of solid colors too)

Domestic Kate said...

Argh! I shoulda gone there. We have a World Market, but I always forget about it. It's a great place for lots of things, and I usually see some familiar Christmas gifts while I'm there too :-)

Elly said...

Youv'e discovered our secret!!! Noooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!1

Tracy said...

I use cloth napkins! Chris and Hannah, not so much. I'm glad you've come to the good side! :)

Domestic Kate said...

Elly, actually, I discovered it when one of you two told me about it :-) It's also the only place I've seen Blackened Voodoo.

Tracy, I wish I could come back to Jax if only so you and I can start a green revolution there. Can you get Chris and Hannah to compost? Paper napkins could be composted. I suppose my household is different because Rich is a little clueless about shopping for anything, so I get to have my way a lot. It's very 1950s :)

BTW, have you guys seen Kleenex's new "hand towel" thing? Did they not get the memo about the whole eco-friendly movement? http://www.kleenex.com/HandTowels/

I've been doing some quick Googling about paper v. cloth napkins, and it's interesting because a lot of people say that you can't save much money. They estimate the laundry factor as if you wash the napkins separately, but that's silly. Anybody know where I could find how much paper (say, in pounds) is saved when you switch to cloth?

Elly said...

I hate those calculators that claim "you can't save money by doing x environmental thing". Guess what, it isn't always about buying the absolute cheapest thing you can. If that was the case, everyone would eat Ramen and McDonald's all the time.

Tracy said...

I saw a commercial for the disposable hand towels and was not happy. Really?? We even keep a stack of rags for things like cleaning up after the dogs or dusting. I refused to buy paper towels but now we have a (seldom used) roll for rare occasions.

As for Chris and Hannah... they are really messy. Maybe it's best they don't use my cloth napkins! ;)

No composting here. It's something i'd like to look into... I think my next project is a rain barrell. Chris even seems to be on board for that one!

I'm thinking we might do cloth diapers. My sister is and I hate the idea of filling the landfills with disposable diapers... but I have the feeling it's going to do some damage to the water bill!

Yes! Come back!! Please!!!

David said...

I like this blog very very much. It makes me happy. I watched as they cut down 3 huge, gorgeous trees at one of my schools today. All for a few more parking spots. Those trees had to have been at least 80 years old. Anyways glad to hear you're doing something for the trees! Hurray for trees!

c.a.b. said...

Thank you for bringing some awareness to this! After a week of using cloth napkins on the cruise and after reading this post, I'm sold on using cloth napkins vs. paper. Cloth napkins, Vibram shoes...what's next? :)

Domestic Kate said...

David, I'm always grateful for your positive comments! I'm happy that you're happy!

c., Did I sell you on the Vibrams too? Maybe I should send you some cloth napkins as a belated wedding gift. Of course, now it isn't much of a surprise...