You’ve probably figured out from the title and photo that this post is not going to be about food.  It’s not.  But the idea was worthwhile enough that I want to share.  I was reading about the Johnson family of The Zero Waste Home and was spurned to act.  Yes, we recycle and, yes, we compost, but what my family consumes and throws away is quite shameful when I see what the Johnsons have done.  (Case in point, it’s Sunday and our recycle bin is already full and the next pickup isn’t until Friday!)  So I decided on the spot that I would start with something small and keep working at it.  I came up with replacing our paper napkins with cloth ones.  We have been cloth diapering our almost-2-year old since she was born and it stands to reason that if we could do that, the napkin switch should be a piece of cake (and much less stinky).  It also seems to be in line with the whole primal way of living.  Eating whole, natural foods means going back to the basics.  The ingredients require little packaging and, with some creativity, can be used almost entirely without much waste.  Shouldn’t the rest of the household dealings follow suit?  I’d say so.

Having decided to go with reusable napkins, the next decision was whether to buy them or make them myself.  I went with the cheaper option of  making them.  Now, I’m not the craftiest person – I don’t scrap book and I don’t make my own baby clothes.  I do own a sewing machine, though, and know enough of the basic functions to operate it safely.  So I bought some pretty, 100% cotton fabric that was on sale and settled in for a DIY weekend.  I had no template or pattern, I just folded the fabric over on itself enough times to get a size I wanted and cut to size.  Then I pressed and hemmed the edges and threw them in the wash.  What you see is what came out of the dryer and folded.  They’re a bit wrinkly but perfectly fine for casual dining.  Once used, I store them in a little container under the sink and I’ll wash them once a week with the kitchen towels.  For 3 yards of fabric, I got 24 cute napkins and the freedom from buying a gargantuan package of disposable napkins at Costco.  That’s a pretty good trade off to me.

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