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February 7, 2009

Cloth napkins

I spent the day making cloth napkins. Ok, it was not exactly the only thing I did all day, but it was the main thing I did. I have been thinking about making cloth napkins for sometime now, but I kept on putting it off so I finally decided to make some today. I don't know, something about the crazy rains makes me want to sew. LOL!

Here's the ones I made for DH and myself. I know that they look very girly. I am using left over flannel fabric I brought for DD, so there isn't anything manly enough for DH. Anyhow, I made about 1 weeks worth of cloth napkins for the whole family. The ones I made for us (DH and me) are 9" x 9", and I sewed the edges to prevent fraying.

The ones I made for DD are 6.5" x 6.5". Because she spills so much while she eats and being such a messy girl, I made her napkins twice as thick as the ones I made for DH and myself.

So, you are probably wondering why I made cloth napkins instead of using paper napkins. Here's the reasons:

1. It's cheaper (in the long run). I used about 2 yards of flannel fabrics to make the napkins. On sale, you can purchase the fabrics from Joann's for about $2 a yard. So to make 1 week worth of reusable napkins for 2 adults and 1 toddler costs about $4. A month of not using paper napkins will cover the cost of the fabric. Of course, there is the cost of washing the cloth napkins. But I will be toss them in with our regular laundry, so the additional cost of cleaning them is very minimum.

2. Switching to cloth napkins is more eco friendly. We will be creating less waste by not using as much paper products ^_^. Btw, paper towels and paper napkins are not recyclable because they might have hazardous liquid on them, so they go stright to the landfill.

Here's a sample list of how long it takes for certain things to biodegrade/decompose :

banana -- 3 to 4 weeks
paper bag -- 1 month
cotton rag -- 5 months
wool sock -- 1 year
cigarette butt -- 2 to 5 years
leather boot -- 40 to 50 years
rubber sole (of the boot) -- 50 to 80 years
tin can (soup or vegetable can) -- 80 to 100 years
aluminum can (soda pop can) -- 200 to 500 years
plastic 6-pack rings -- 450 years
plastic jug -- 1 million years
Styrofoam cup -- unknown? forever?
glass bottle -- unknown? forever?

3. Better for the skin. DD has super sensitive skin. Because flannel is so soft, I don't have to worry about it rubbing against her skin. No more cheap rough napkins against my baby's buttery soft cheeks. Heeheheh!


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