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Zero Waste Challenge Day 22: Cloth Napkins

30 Day Zero Waste Challenge

Last Updated on September 11, 2020

My heat sings for cloth napkins. They are versatile, easy to clean, and even easier to use.

The first cloth napkins we’re used by the Roman’s. They weren’t necessarily for cleaning hands, but rather as a to-go bag for leftovers. Let’s learn from the Romans more on that below…

Eventually they were used as mind blowing works of art for fancy dinner parties with Marie Antoinette and the French Aristocracy.

They graced everyone’s table just not quite as elaborately.

Around 1870 paper napkins were invented, but it wasn’t until the 1930’s they were distributed for the home. Now a days they’ve completely taken over.

In fact there was recent poll showing only 10% of homes use cloth napkins at all. 

My family was a cloth napkin for special occasion kinda family. But, people aren’t even using them for special occasions anymore. 

the challenge:

Let’s bring it back! Keep them at home and keep one on you. I have 5 things to do with a cloth napkin! 

  1. Use it for take out. Sandwiches, donuts, muffins, cookies – it’s just best to avoid wet items like potato salad.
  2. Dry your hands in the bathroom and avoid the paper towel.
  3. Use it to blow your nose.
  4. Use it at a restaurant in lieu of a paper napkin. Just let your server know, “No paper napkin,” they won’t reuse it once it’s on your table. 
  5. Use them at home for all meals, not just “special occasions,” every meal is a special occasion in my book! 

I stitched several of my cloth napkins out of fabric I already had, but you can find great deals at the thrift store! Just wash them in hot water and line dry before using. The hot water and heat/light from the sun will make them as good as new. 

I keep my washer open and throw my cloth produce bags, napkins, cleaning rags, and anything cloth into it as they become dirty. This way, I never have to remember to include them in a load of clothes. They’re already ready! 

The key to success is taking out the guess work. 

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  1. I never thought of bring cloth napkin with me to anywhere even dry my hands after bathroom. since sometimes I use paper towels instead of dryer machine to dry my hands because I always think that dryer machine to dry the hands waste the energy for small things unless large people use it instead of paper towels.

    Thanks for tip!