Sunday, March 16, 2008

eco- friendly choices: napkins - paper or cloth?

Recently, I was told that one of my local home supply stores was closing. It's always sad to see a favorite shop shut down. There are a few things that I do still need around my home, so I decided to pay a visit and see if any necessities might be on sale.

I had been planning, over the last few months, to find some cloth napkins to help replace my use of paper napkins. While cloth napkins need to be laundered, they don't use up unrenewable resources such as trees and can be reused many times. Remember, trees need many years of growth before they can be harvested for use. Also, unless you purchase recycled paper napkins, typical napkins or paper towels contain bleach and chemicals. So, in an effort to fulfill my plan, I purchased 30 cloth napkins which were on sale. I now have enough cloth napkins to get through at least a week and if I ever have guests over, I should have plenty for everyone to use. The cloth napkins I purchased are an army green color - a little bit neutral, but with just a hint of color. In the future, if needed, I can add to my cloth napkin collection with a pattern or another color.

If you're handy with a sewing machine, you can also make some nifty cloth napkins by cutting square-foot pieces of cloth and sewing the seams. You can embellish your napkins or even make small 5"x5" cocktail napkins/coasters for parties. I know this is a small step, but I do believe that every little bit helps - and in this case, we are helping keep hundreds of napkins out of the landfill saving many beautiful trees.

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