My foray into the world of cloth napkins started in an unusual way. It started with rinsing out my baby’s poopy diapers.
My husband and I weren’t particularly domestic people when we got married. I had taken home ec when I was in 8th grade, but most of that information leached out of my brain when I was in college to make room for all the names of MTVs “Real World San Francisco” cast and which bar served up the cheapest sex-on-the-beach shooters.
Neither of us knew how to fold a fitted sheet or iron a shirt collar, but we could do basic laundry. So when our first daughter was born, we decided to hop on the earth parent wave and use cloth diapers. And let me tell you, that act alone had me feeling like friggin’ Laura Ingalls Wilder.
I figured if I could rinse out poopy diapers on a daily basis, I could do just about anything. Even learn how to fold that damn fitted sheet. And when I realized how many diapers we WEREN’T throwing away, I started looking for other things we could stop putting in the trash. Cloth napkins suddenly seemed like a no-brainer.
So, I channeled my inner Laura, bought some fabric and asked my mom to show me how to sew. A week later I had a set of 14 cloth napkins and a newfound sense of empowerment. I could both sew and save the earth! Amazing!
Going zero-waste or paperless in the kitchen has been catching on in the last few years. It’s easy to see why. Each American uses an average of 2,200 standard 2-ply paper napkins annually. Now multiply that by 300 million Americans and you have a whopping 600 BILLION paper napkins being thrown away every year! A family of 4 alone could save 8,800 paper napkins going into the trash.
Not only are cloth napkins better for the environment, but:
- They are sturdier. We still have a few of the original set of napkins I made 15 years ago!
- They clean your hands better. How many cloth napkins do you go through when you eat pizza? Enough said.
- They look super fancy. It’s like eating at a fine restaurant every night – one that also serves hot dogs.
Now I will be the first to admit cloth napkins are far from perfect. There is an initial upfront cost. A family of 4 needs anywhere from 28 to 56 napkins each week, depending on whether you use one napkin or two each day. It’s an understatement to say that’s a lot of napkins. Which leads me to the next problem.
Laundry. Each week we did at least one load that was entirely napkins. It’s better than a whole load of napkins going into the trash each week, but still. I didn’t even bother treating stains. We just had a special set of “spaghetti-only” napkins.
So when Norwex introduced their cloth napkins last fall, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them. Literally. And for a few awesome reasons:
- Each set is made from 50 percent recycled materials, so I’m doing even more to protect the environment.
- They are microfiber so they are more durable and absorbent than the cotton napkins we were using.
- And best of all … they contain BacLock, which means they have the same self-cleansing properties as Norwex’s other microfiber.
That means one set of 4 napkins can last us the entire week! We just rinse them out under warm water each night after dinner, hang them to dry and use them again the next day. I am eliminating an entire load of laundry each week! I just throw them in the same load as my other microfiber.
They come in two different colors – slate and peacock – so they look great on any table. And the darker colors mean stains aren’t really a problem. No more “spaghetti-only” napkins!
They truly are the perfect cloth napkin! So, if you’re looking for an ultra-convenient way to start reducing paper waste in your home, you really need to check these out. Click here to learn more.