I've slowly been trying to reduce the use of paper products in our home. With children, our consumption of paper products was getting out of hand. They could use half a roll of paper towels to mop up a small spill. I want to encourage them to clean, but the waste was atrocious.
One of the best things I did was to take the paper towels out of the kitchen and put them in a more inconvenient spot. Under the kitchen sink I placed a pile of rags. Now a rag is the handiest available cloth for us all to use for a quick clean up.
I also placed a dish pan for dirty cloths under the sink since my laundry area is in the basement and not quickly assessable. Our paper towel use dropped to almost nothing.
Next I wanted to replace the paper napkins. I was planning to make a cute set of fabric napkins and I was bookmarking directions for cloth napkins all over the web. And, of course, I planned to blog about the adorable napkins I made myself!
But it just wasn't happening. The project never was getting to the top of the list and I didn't think it would hit priority any time soon.
This summer I had replaced my dish towels. The old ones were getting thin at spots but still had a lot of life. One afternoon I sat down with my scissors and cut several of the towels into fourths and zig-zagged the raw edges. It only took a few minutes and we now had a whole stack of child sized cloth napkins.
I keep them stacked in a basket next to the table. They have been easy to launder and dry and the children can easily fold them.
Nothing fancy and some day I still hope to make those cute napkins with mitered corners, but until then, this works for us!