While there is no definitive answer in the debate over whether cloth napkins or paper napkins are better, many factors point to cloth napkins being the more sustainable choice for many folks. There are many factors involved in whether cloth napkins are the most eco-friendly choice for your home: like the age of your washer, whether you air-dry or use a clothes dryer, use recycled or repurposed fabric napkins, choose more or less sustainable fabrics, use phosphate free detergents, wash responsibly and more.
There really is a lot to consider in making the switch to cloth napkins, but according to the Mother Nature Network:
“When you factor in all of the components of making a paper towel or napkins (harvesting the material, processing and bleaching it, packaging it, shipping it, stocking it at a supermarket, transportation to and from the store to purchase it, etc.) all for a single use, you find that the paper towels and napkins are about twice as energy-intensive and create more greenhouse gases overall.”
And even though energy and resources are both expended for paper and cloth napkin manufacture, if you take care of your cloth napkins, they will last years and years.
That’s not to mention that cloth napkins are more appealing and enjoyable to use. They can make an ordinary lunchtime PB&J sandwich so much fancier and special! You can add panache to your meals with colorful, unique and stylish cloth napkins in a way you just can’t with boring, scratchy 100 percent post consumer recycled brown paper napkins.
To make the switch: here are some stylish and sustainable cloth napkins :
1. Pretty Folk Pattern
These pretty patterned napkins are made using vintage fabric--a very sustainable everyday choice.
2. Organic Linen
Choose these organic linen napkins with a fern print for a special occasion. They are made with organic linen and solvent-free water based inks.
3. Unbleached Cotton
From the Organic Authority Files
Unbleached cotton makes a soft, durable and eco-friendly choice. These raw-edge versions would make a great everyday napkin.
4. “Un” Paper Towels
Use these as napkins or “un” paper towels. They are made with soft 100 percent organic unbleached cotton and are GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified.
5. Linen Cocktail Napkins
Be eco-friendly while you entertain with these unbleached linen cocktail napkins printed with nontoxic water based dye.
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