Updated: Feb 18, 2022
Flowers from my friend’s garden!
Sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin. How should I start? What’s the first change I should make? In my journey, paper napkins were one of the first single-use items that left my house. Cloth napkins took their place on the kitchen table, as seen above. Yes, like with many “green” initiatives, there is a small initial cost with changing one’s habits. However I’ve used these napkins for over five years now, and haven’t looked back. In the above stack, some napkins were handed-down, others were given as gifts and the rest were purchased by me on sale at local shops. That is one method to easily and frugally build your stock. You can also buy some online via Etsy or find some at your local thrift store.
Once you have a good amount of napkins (I’d say we own around thirty for a family of four), you just need to create a routine that works for you. In our house, I have an extra laundry basket that sits by my washing machine. Once that’s full, I do a quick wash, together with dirty kitchen rags, sheets or towels. You can also just wash your cloth napkins together with your clothes, if that works for you.
Regardless of the system, once you have a routine, you will see that it doesn’t add that much more work to your life. Sure, you need to fold them, but that can be a fun job for your small child or easily done while watching your favorite television show. Takes about five minutes. You will eventually also start saving money because you will no longer be purchasing paper napkins every week. Lastly, you will find cloth feels more comfortable to use and looks nicer on your table. Give it a try! What do you have to lose?