Learning and Teaching Sustainability

Reusable Napkins – A Lesson in Patience

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At Live to Sustain we advocate for a paper towel free lifestyle. At home Laura and I do not use disposable paper towels. We pieced together a napkin set of about 30 or so cloth napkins. Some were bought at the swap meet for pennies. The rest we found while cleaning out some old stored away boxes. There were a few napkin sets probably meant to be used for dinner parties and such. We figured they would never get used that way and added them to our existing reusable napkin set collection.

Using reusable napkins, I realize, requires a bit of patience. It also requires an open-mind and willingness to change your habits. Stubbornness never gets ya anywhere!

I thought I would briefly explain how patience is involved. I know I am always working to be more patient and figure others are interested in the same personal growth. As a practice in patience use reusable napkins.

Here are some examples of patience that arise when choosing whether to use reusable napkins instead of wasteful paper napkins.

  1. The fact that you can reuse a napkin does not only mean you don’t throw it away after you use it. It also means you can use it for longer before it is soiled to the point of needing a wash. It takes patience to be aware of how you use things and how much of them you use.
  2. Tending to dirty napkins and taking the time to clean them or rinse them requires patience. Sometimes a napkin just needs a little rinse and can be laid out to dry and reused.
  3. Embracing imperfections in stained napkins also requires patience. Does everything need to be bright shiny white and new looking? So what if there are spaghetti stains. Its an eff’n napkin..?

Practice patience and change your habits. Adopt to using reusable napkins.

About the author: Adam Cunningham
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