Cotton Napkins · Real Utensils · Reusable Containers

18 Use reusable, real things.

By all means, I do not intend you to pull out your grandmother’s linen tablecloths from her
wedding in 1948. Only if you really want to. And not running out and buying brand new 100%
linen napkins. Look at what you have, first, see what you can and want to use, then when the
opportunity presents itself, buy some that you see on sale or that you happen upon in a thrift

I have cotton napkins I picked up in bunches for not more than a dollar. I do not feel bad using
them, as I just throw them in the washer as needed. Forget ironing them, they look great right
out of the dryer, simply folded neatly.

No plastic utensils or cups or plates. Use real stuff.

I’m sure you have as I do, plenty of plastic containers for leftovers. Plastic utensils for picnics
are always in a drawer somewhere. My favorite is Tupperware from ages and ages ago, that will
probably outlive me. I will keep what I have and use them, but I have firmly decided not to buy
any more. I love jars and have started collecting them in all sizes, not only for canning, but for
everyday storage. Glass storage does not change the flavor of the food and it keeps food fresh. I
keep all my beans and grains in jars, I think it looks beautiful. At my local thrift store, I’ve
picked up some old square jars, they use the same lids so they are useful as well as aesthetically

Real dishes seem to make a meal feel more like home. Glasses and plates of china or stoneware
with real napkins make a meal more traditional. And they’re not trash; it’s not wasteful reusing
our own stuff. By reusing our own durable, nice stuff we are recycling and managing our waste
while creating a better quality of life.


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