I love old things. Vintage linens make my heart skip a beat. I love floral vintage cotton tablecloths and search for them whenever I am junktiquing. I have purchased many tablecloths and napkins along the way and think they bring a beautiful and lived-in look to a table. I have 3 young children so currently I am using my vintage linens in locations other than the kitchen table (since that would be a disaster).
Last fall my son was studying the 3 R’s of Recycling (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) in 2nd grade and had a big project to complete detailing how his family practiced the 3 R’s and how we might stretch ourselves further in this pursuit. (No pressure!) I loved this project because I am an avid recylcer. So much so that I have been known to offer to take people’s cups or plastic bottles home with me to recycle them (rather than tossing them in the nearby trashcan) when out somewhere.
So I was all about this project. As we began to think of a stretch recycle goal for our family, the idea of using cloth napkins, rather than paper at meals, seemed like a fun goal of reusing and reducing waste.
Now, I wasn’t sure if it was practical, or how much extra laundry it would add (I do not need any added laundry- that is for sure!), or if I would feel the pressure for the napkins to match or be nicely ironed (which is out of the question). But we gave it a try and the result was unexpected and wonderful. We love it. I love it the most. It has given me a chance to use that drawer full of quirky cotton napkins that were being neglected. They have now been given a new life at our lively dinner table and I smile each time I pull them out of the drawer. A way to celebrate the beauty in the ordinary.
And I can happily report that:
1. it does not add much to the laundry at all
2. they do not need to match, though it is fun to coordinate, or give each person at the table one that matches their personality or level of messiness
3. we are saving $$ and the planet 🙂
4. it makes me feel like my grandmother, Ruth, who always used cloth napkins at the dinner table, as every dinner was an occasion
5. and a bonus observation: cloth napkins cover more messes-they don’t fall on the floor as easily, they are thick and help my kids to actually use their napkin rather than automatically wiping their hands on their shirts.
So…give it a try.
You might join the revolution and make weeknight dinner an occasion!