Green Tip of the Week: How about cloth napkins and towels?

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How many paper towels and paper napkins does your family use in the course of a week?

Chances are, quite a few.  Have you thought about replacing the paper with cloth? This is in keeping with the push to reuse instead of always using single use items.

Cloth napkins, in particular, are a joy to use;  and can be washed with other clothes – hopefully in an Energy Star rated washer so that you are not wasting water.  The napkins can be very inexpensive if you purchase them on sale, in a thrift store, or make them yourself.

The same with paper towels - they can easily be replaced by dish towels for most uses.

Paper towels and napkins made from virgin paper are extremely wasteful. Trees are being cut down to be used for single-use, disposable items. If you are still inclined to use paper instead of cloth, purchase those made from sustainably managed forests. The best option is to purchase products that are made from recycled paper. If everyone in the U.S. replaced just one roll of virgin-fiber paper towels with 100 percent recycled ones, we could save 1.4 million trees.  In addition:  you can compost recycled paper towels and napkins because they have not been bleached with chlorine.  Brands to look for: Marcal, Seventh Generation and Whole Foods 365 brand. Increasingly, brands are using sustainably harvested wood so look for a logo with “FSC” or “SFI” and feel better about your purchase.

This tip is courtesy of the Task Force for a Sustainable Galloway.

For information, call the Galloway Township Department of Community Education at (609) 652-3700, ext. 209 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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