We've Gone Cloth!

10 months ago we started using cloth napkins in our home instead of paper napkins.  And not long after that we started using old cloth towels to clean with instead of paper towels.  There is a big debate as to whether cloth or paper is better to use.  And each has it's own pro's and con's for household use and mass majority use.  But in this blog I'll be discussing household use since that's what I am personally are familiar with.

For us as a family, going cloth has made a big difference.  We are saving a good deal of money not having to buy napkins and paper towels.  We would go through napkins pretty quick, even for a small family of 3.  If we all used only one napkin for each meal, 3 meals a day, that would be 9 napkins a day.  That's not counting extra napkins used for snacks or messy dinners like BBQ and such.  9 napkins a day x 365 days = 3,285 napkins used a year.  That's a low end figure.  I know we used paper towels like crazy!  I would use them to wipe down the counters, table, sinks, bathrooms, mirrors, dust and clean up messes.  So there is no telling how many rolls we went through a year.

But doesn't washing cloth napkins cost money and energy?  Yes, it does, but it's minimal.  I'm already washing clothes at least once a week.  So, why not add some cloth napkins in with my regular laundry!  That solved that problem.  And unlike paper napkins that are thrown away after one use, our cloth napkins are used many times before getting washed.  Some people may think that sounds gross, but after looking online I found that many people wait to wash their napkins until they are visibly soiled.  Just think, sometimes you hardly get anything on your napkin, but will throw it away at the end of a meal. 

Why we like it!

+Saves us money.
+Very durable, absorbent and soft.
+Re-purpose old towels and cloths to clean/use around the house.
+Will last us very long time.
+Can be used for many many years instead of going right to a landfill.
+Make your own or buy used to have a minimal environmental impact.
+Wash with the rest of your laundry.  In cold water!
+Some cloth doesn't require softener when washing.

I bought our cloth napkins off Etsy.  They are made from a Birdseye cloth that gets softer and more absorbent with each wash.  It's not recommended to use softener when washing them or it will decrease absorbency.  Here is the Etsy site I purchased our napkins from, there are a lot of colors to chose from.  www.etsy.com/shop/madeintheredbarn

We made the decision and just went with it.  But when I started writing this blog I came across websites with debates on whether cloth or paper was better.  Each side has some valid points. You can decide for yourself.

According to NRDC "If every household in the United States replaced just one package of virgin fiber napkins (250 count) with 100% recycled ones, we could save 1 million trees."
Website: http://www.nrdc.org

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Tulip said...

Love this. My husband recently recommended this to me! I think they are a lot easier for young children to use to get their faces clean. Where do you store your napkins when they aren't totally soiled, but not in use? I have a paper towel rack and a napkin holder, but what do you use for the used ones. Thanks!

cHriStiNa said...

I have a cute woven bucket that sits on top of my refrigerator that I keep hand towels and place mats in. I'll toss them in there. Most of the time I leave them on the table since my daughter uses hers throughout the day a lot. I'll just flip them over to a clean side so it looks nicer.

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