Friday, September 17, 2010

Paper versus cloth

Last week I went with my friend Angela to an estate sale. It was the perfect day to go, as far as I was concerned, because most of the items for sale were half-priced. As we walked around, Angela pointed out one of my favorite items to buy at estate and yard sales -- nice white linen napkins.

This is why -- I used to use paper towels for everything. I often used them for napkins. I used them to dry dishes and wash off counters. Sometimes I even used them to wash dishes. I took some with me wherever I went and even kept a roll in my car. I finally came to realize that I was wasting money and wasn't doing anything at all to help the environment.

I then pulled out my old cloth napkins and decided to break my habit of reaching for paper towels. I made room in my kitchen cabinet for a napkin drawer. I really didn't have enough to use all the time so I went to the dollar store and bought some really plain ones that were two for a dollar, I found some nicer ones ones on sale while shopping. We then started using them every day for every meal. It really was nice. I felt I was like indulging myself white saving money.

After that I found began to look for napkins at yard sales and estate sales. Surprisingly, the napkins I find have never been used. Sometimes I even find napkins with matching tablecloths still in the original packages. I now have stacks of napkins and I wouldn't go back to paper towels for anything. (I do use paper towels, just not often.)

They aren't really hard to wash and keep clean. I usually put the dirty ones in a pail in my washroom and I spray spots with a stain removal product. Sometimes I have a stain that won't come out and I no longer use those napkins for company. The hardest thing to get out of a napkin? Definitely barbecue sauce.


  1. I made this switch as well, and while my favorite thing about it is the savings, it makes every sit-down meal feel a little more special.

  2. What a great idea. That is a good way to help the environment and while doing so, feel like a personal 'splurge' with the quality of a cloth napkin, versus a paper one. And by going to an estate sale, the item gets a 'second chance.' Definitely a win-win situation. Thanks for sharing, Deberah.

    and p.s: The Postman brought a very special package today - it felt like Christmas came early! Your wonderful gift of office supplies came today - how neat they all are! I love the colors, the greens and oranges are so vibrant and where I teach part-time, those are our school colors!

    I can't wait to bring in the miniature clipboard - the students are going to love it! And with the matching sticky tabs, they will really get a charge out of that. It's interesting to see how some of the 1st & 2nd graders already 'know' that they want to be teachers when they grow up. They are so talented, they love to read and they are very good artists, too.

    Also, my son is 16 and is quite a reader - he loved the mini sticky tabs and is going to use some for book marks.

    I can't thank you enough for your generousity and everyday, I look forward to reading your blogs - I always learn something new, (who 'knew' that eggplants had small blossoms on the vine?), the photos are gorgeous - so many of those photos could be featured in a calendar, they are that nice, and I feel inspired by your gardening ideas:
    it is my hope that our family can start a small garden next year, because of all your good tips.

    But most importantly, your blog site is a positive beacon: so much news is negative, just because it is, and how nice it is to be able to have all the positive ideas and inspiring stories to read at your site.

    I thank you for the daily inspiration and so appreciate your fine efforts.
    Have a wonderful weekend,

  3. Thank you Joanie! You are always a bright spot in my day with your kind comments. I am so happy you were the winner of the first drawing. You always make my day. Thanks.