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Do You Use Cloth or Paper Napkins at Home?

A few weeks ago, I touted the eco-benefits of using cloth napkins, so now I'm curious what type of napkins you use at home.

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carlagirl carlagirl 9 years
Wow--these poll results and comments are depressing. There was a moment maybe 30 years ago when at least Americans were encouraged to be more ecologically-minded, but slowly yet surely that has dissipated for the sake of so-called convenience and, I'm sure, profit--even billboards and Hershey's wrappers which used to be recyclable (paper) are now plastic (some of the billboards, at least, are recycled into expensive bags), and we don't even blink. These seemingly small wastes do add up--if you don't think so, check out artist Donna Ozawa's Waribashi Project ( in which she collects disposable chopsticks from restaurants in San Francisco and creates room-sized sculpture installations. An Inconvenient Truth has spurred an eco-consciousness of late, but we'll soon forget, moving on to the next hot thing. But resources are finite.
Annika14938867 Annika14938867 9 years
I guess it started because I was too cheap to buy napkins. I don't have cloth ones either, though! I just use a dishtowel that's nearby. I did put some cloth napkins on my registry so ask me again in a few months!
sweetgranny sweetgranny 9 years
cloth=Holidays & special occasions paper=everday use
angelfromlsu angelfromlsu 9 years
I guess the better choice would have to be a fair balance between whether it is worse to trash the napkins or energy/water use of washing reusable napkins. I tend not to eat messy things and don't grab for a napkin unless I'm needing one (at home).
zc zc 9 years
paper...serviettes as we call them in south africa.
misslarue misslarue 9 years
Paper for everyday use, cloth for when we have company.
valepere valepere 9 years
Paper napkins, but cloth towels
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
cloth - i find it really easy to wash things. I'm not sure why it would be a difficulty. I use cloth for all kinds of spills - i have rags from old clothes that work well, or scraps of fabric...those Mabu cloth things that are made of wood fibre, dish rags crocheted by my roommates mom... handkerchiefs for blowing my nose...napkins from all over the world which are great souvenirs and i use them for my hands etc when i eat.
outofhere outofhere 9 years
Cloth all the way! After going green I stopped buying paper napkins, paper towels etc. I discovered that newspaper really does do a FAB job on windows and lots of other things too.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
Love Cloth! so much easier, classier, sturdier.
jen22 jen22 9 years
Equita Equita 9 years
always use cloth. just throw them in with the dish towels and let them dry on the line. easy, enviro-friendly and much cheaper than buying disposable ones.
hestadalen hestadalen 9 years
bizzybee, i just found the most adorable retro-60s cloth napkins at a flea market. They are so cute--awesome fabric design that I'd have a hard time finding today. Yeah, it's a little extra washing, but using cloth napkins is better for the environment and cheaper in the long run. Plus, all of my friends are always asking me where I got the awesome napkins, which doesn't hurt, either.
libs1dlab libs1dlab 9 years
Used to use cloth before I got married. MIL used cloth only as "decoration" to hubby had trouble with actually using the cloth napkins/placemats. I got tired of setting a beautiful table only to have him shove everything to the side and grab a paper towel. I gave up but would go back to cloth if I thought I could retrain an old dog. Also, living in an area with water restrictions, I try not to add to the laundry unless necessary, so paper it is.
ReverendZelda ReverendZelda 9 years
no washing machine + living with 3 men = paper napkins
ALSW ALSW 9 years
Usually paper towels. Otherwise I'd be washing cloth ones constantly and that's not good either!
lizzy112189 lizzy112189 9 years
who wants to wash them? paper all the way baby!
rubialala rubialala 9 years
We use paper towels.
cageyme cageyme 9 years
Sleeve, dish towel, paper towel, dog lick. We're not fancy in our house. When we do get fancy, we use cloth napkins. If I can remember where I put them.
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 9 years
growing up i used cloth napkins. my mom is obsessed. but now that i'm on my own, i use paper napkins or paper towels. i rarely have a nice sit-down dinner and paper napkins are more convenient for me. sorry nature.
wiggle wiggle 9 years
My husband and I use cloth and I rip a paper towel in for my 2 kids.
bsc1216 bsc1216 9 years
cloth is classier, and better for the earth!
Historygal3 Historygal3 9 years
Cloth for enviornmental reasons.
bizzybee bizzybee 9 years
I've discovered that cloth napkins actually get nicer with more washings. Or you can find extra soft vintage ones at a thrift store or flea market.
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