That depends on how often you use it and how often you put it through the laundry. Think of it like wearing and washing a T-shirt. You may wash it once a week for several years before it becomes too tattered to use (and then you can use it as a cleaning rag). If you use it for ten years and wash it 52 times per year, then that would equal 520 (or more) paper napkins. If you are a sloppy eater and need to wash the napkin after every single meal, then chances are that you will have saved more than one paper napkin per meal. If you are more careful with your eating and can use one napkin through a whole day or two and you eat three meals per day, then you will save three-six napkins per use. If we multiply six by 520 laundry loads, that equals 3,120 napkins.
Personally, I think it is really cool to take my own napkin and silverware wherever I go. I have some really fun silverware that I got at an antique store, and I just roll it up in a cloth napkin, tie a string around it to keep it all together, and put it in my purse. It makes a really great statement to say “no” to paper napkins and plastic silverware.
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