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The greener napkin debate

Cloth Napkin
Cloth Napkin
Cynthia Alderman

There is a huge debate on the choice of a napkin. The paper napkin often gets the greener choice award. This is due to the fact that cloth napkins are often made of cotton, which is grown using mass irrigation, biocides, and chemicals. Then there is the energy used to wash and dry cloth napkins. Some people would argue that recycled paper napkins, or organic cotton can be a better choice for the environment. However, in financially tough times the price between the eco friendly products and the other products can be too much for an average family. When making the choice for your family, here are a few thoughts to keep in mind.

• If a family of four uses three paper napkins a day for 20 years that is 87,600 napkins in the landfill.

• Also, how many people use just one per meal?

• Everything that is thrown in the garbage has to go somewhere. This is usually a landfill.

• According to the North Carolina State Energy Office, North Carolina has over 130 municipal, county and private landfills.

• This does not account for the 2001 report from U.S. Water News Online, “More than 770 closed landfills dot North Carolina, and most of them are invisibly polluting groundwater”, a state official says.

• Sure, there is laundering of cloth napkins. However, if you already do laundry (which is most likely) a few cloth napkins in each load will not take up much room.

The moral of the story is, cloth napkins can be a greener choice.



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