I have always thought cloth napkins were better than paper always but now I am finding out that it depends on the situation. In our house we don’t use paper napkins or paper towels, just cloth napkins. And in most cases this is the best option but there are times when paper napkins are better than cloth.
At treehugger.com they have an article, Are Paper Napkins More Environmentally Friendly?, which takes you through the Napkin Analysis:
I begin by weighing some napkins. My paper napkins weigh only 4 grams each, while my cotton napkins weigh 28 grams, and linen napkins weigh 35 grams. Of course the exact weight will vary but the relative weights will be roughly the same. I am again turning to James Norman, a life cycle analysis expert and the Director of Research at Planet Metrics for some of the data that I need.
- Making Napkins
- Washing Napkins
- Drying Napkins
- How do they compare?
- Napkins in the Restaurant
- Napkins in the home
At the end they help you know whats best for each scenario and throughout the article they stated the amount of greenhouse gases and water each scenario uses. Click here for the complete article and make your decision on whether to use paper or cloth.