Easy Eco Swap: Cloth Napkins vs. Paper

Easy Eco Swap - cloth napkins vs paper

Cloth napkins handmade by my mom!

Are you still using paper napkins at dinnertime? I know, I know – it’s tough to think about adding to the laundry pile when you have a busy, messy family – but I’d like to try to convince you to make the switch to cloth. Here’s the why and the how….

Why use cloth?

  • Uses fewer resources – Paper napkins are a big waste of resources – especially those made from virgin paper and bleached with chlorine.
  • Produces less waste – Take a minute to imagine a year’s worth of paper napkins in a big pile. Now imagine all the waste from cloth napkins – none!
  • More durable – Cloth napkins won’t fall apart after a few wipes.
  • Looks nicer – Family dinnertime is often the highlight of the day for us. Delicious, homemade food and colorful, cloth napkins make it even better!

Making cloth work for you

organic cotton napkins from Etsy via mindfulmomma.comBuy ’em – You don’t have to spend a ton of money on cloth napkins. In fact, you can find great deals at places like Target or online at Amazon. Don’t rule out thrift or consignment shops either – they are a great source for gently used and even new cloth napkins. If you are looking for something unique or a little more special, check out cloth napkins on Etsy. These organic cotton ones caught my eye! Tip: keep a different set of cloth napkins for company since the family napkins may get worn over time.

Handmade napkins via mindfulmomma.comMake ’em – Got a sewing machine? Handmade cloth napkins are super simple to makeTip: buy fabric quarters (also known as “fat quarters”) at the fabric store. They are just the right size for napkins and it’s easy to get a bunch of different fabrics. And if you want to get fancy – add some rick-rack trim!

Clean ’em – Yes, using cloth napkins means more laundry, but what’s a handful of napkins in the pile? We wash ours once a week. During the week, we *try* to keep our napkins straight so we don’t share germs. Napkin rings help. Tip: keep an eco-friendly stain remover and this stain removal chart handy for zapping any stains before they go into the washer.

Are you ready to make the swap to cloth?

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Like this post? Here are more Easy Eco Swaps and Easy Eco Tips for ya! 

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