During an average year, Americans use about 2,200 napkins, which works out to be six per day. If you think about it, between spills and slobbery, we do grab for a napkin more often than we may think.
Now here is something powerful to think about. If everyone used one less paper napkin a day, we’d keep more than a billion pounds of napkins out of landfills each year.
What’s a reduction rebel to do?
The Waste-free Lunch Challenge
Well, interestingly enough, the people on the forefront of cloth napkin usage are school kids. Organizations across the country are promoting “Waste-free Lunch Challenges.” Parents are urged to replace disposable lunch packaging with reusable alternatives.
This looks something like:
· Reusable lunch bag or box
· Cloth napkin
· Reusable drink container
· Plastic or stainless steel food containers
To give you an idea of how powerful this shift to reusable lunch packaging looks, some schools have calculated a garbage reduction of up to 100 pounds per day. This is not just an environmental savings; schools are saving money on the disposal of their waste.
Now, you may not have children or pack lunches to go, but that doesn’t mean you can’t swap out your paper towels or napkins for a cloth alternative. I must admit, we’re getting good at the habit of using reusable coffee thermoses and food containers. Napkins are next on the horizon of waste reduction initiatives. Give it a try. They’re really pretty.