I registered for so many things when I got married. I didn’t know what I was doing and being 23 wasn’t any help. Did I need enough plates to serve 16 people? Absolutely not. But I registered for that many, anyway.
When I got married, I was gifted a bunch of cloth napkins that I’d requested for my imaginary dining room tablescape. I ended up donating the dining room set a few years later because we seriously never used it, but I held on to the cloth napkins. I’m really glad I did because they’ve gotten more and more use as Brandon and I continue to find ways to live more sustainably.
That’s right! We don’t buy paper napkins anymore. And to tell you the truth? I don’t miss them.
SIMPLE SWAP: use cloth napkins instead of paper ones
This is one of the easiest changes we’ve made in our home! I’m pretty sure we ran out of paper napkins before we moved to Sacramento and because we didn’t have any when we moved, we did the resourceful thing and pulled out the cloth napkins for our first meals in the new place.
Bam! A new habit was formed. We just kept reaching for the cloth napkins and never found the need to buy more paper ones.
Our cloth napkins are from Target but tea towels that are stored away would be excellent as napkins, too! I don’t make super saucy or messy food, so we can usually get a few uses out of our napkins before they need a wash. I just toss them in the hamper when they’re dirty! Easy peasy. And I say that as a person who doesn’t have a washer or dryer in her building.
In the name of honesty, I’ll admit we do still have paper towels in the house, but we use those mostly for cleaning, and only when we forget to use (or don’t feel like using) the cloth rags we have.
I don’t think I have to stop using all paper products all at once to make a difference. To be honest, just switching from paper napkins (or paper towels as napkins) to our cloth ones has made a big dent in the amount of waste we create.
My favorite part of it is we’re saving resources. A big pack of paper towels now lasts us about 6 months instead of 3. We save money and we ease up on our paper dependence. Double win!
I encourage you to try out cloth napkins next time you run out of paper ones. Start with one week and see how it works!