I’m not quite ready to go off the grid but I try to be eco in small ways, like turning off the faucet when washing dishes, keeping lights off in rooms I’m not using, and not using paper towels. Using cloth napkins is just one of those things that I'm hooked on.
A few stats from Earth911 help put things into perspective:
- 13 billion pounds of paper towels are used in the U.S. every year.
- They don’t contain significant amounts of fiber for recycling and when they’re dirty or wet, they degrade even further and become non-recyclable.
- You cannot compost paper towels soaked in oils, pet or baby waste, or other harmful substances.
Instead, I've been using a stack of handmade and store-bought fabric napkins for cleaning and eating for years. Here is a cloth napkin DIY I did for nicolesclasses.com (pictured above). If you’re up for some basic sewing, they’re fun to make for your home or as gifts for friends. And if you’re not much of a sewer, you can simply cut the fabric to size and fray the edges — no sewing needed.
Do you use cloth napkins at home? Share your tips below!
(Image: Theresa Gonzalez for Nicole's Classes)