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Simple Tips for Packing a Waste-Free Lunch

cloth napkins

Cloth Napkins

Cloth napkins are super simple to sew yourself. You can use fabric that’s already in your stash or pick up fabric that you dig just for this project. Just make sure the fabric you’re using is absorbent, so organic cotton, hemp, or linen are your best bets for making napkins. All you need are two 13″ squares of fabric to make your own napkins. This video walks you through how to sew your own:

Is sewing not your strong suit? No problem! You can buy pre-made cloth napkins, and it doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are a couple of ideas:

  • Check the thrift store. Thrift stores often get surplus from restaurants, and your local thrift store is likely to have cloth napkins that are very inexpensive.
  • Shop on Etsy. There are lots of Etsy sellers whipping up handmade cloth napkins. You can have all the charm of handmade without needing the sewing skills.

Voila! You’re ready to pack a waste-free lunch! Do you guys have any other tips for reducing lunchtime waste? Share away in the comments!

Read more: Conscious Consumer, Eco-friendly tips, Food, Green, Green Kitchen Tips, Home, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, , , , ,

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!


+ add your own
11:36AM PDT on Jun 22, 2015

Thanks Becky.

6:05AM PST on Feb 12, 2014

thank you

9:29AM PDT on May 19, 2013

Good ideas,thanks for sharing

5:04PM PDT on Mar 20, 2012


4:08AM PST on Feb 11, 2012

When my son was young, he saw me and his dad take our lunch every day, so he wanted to take his too. Every once in a while he would eat at school when they had pizza. He had his own lunchbox, and utensils and a kitchen towel I cut up to make napkins.

10:10PM PST on Feb 9, 2012


1:29AM PST on Feb 2, 2012

I actually have a couple of cloth wraps that are Japanese that are made FOR wrapping your lunch. It's nice, because they're washable, and double as a napkin. I don't usually bring those though.

I do use the plain lunch sacks, and plastic wear, but, I bring the plastic wear home, wash, and reuse. This way, if a lunch burglar ate my lunch, I'm not missing my own silverware from home. I'll just use another reusable plastic set for next time.

5:23AM PST on Feb 1, 2012

Great ideas!

10:53PM PST on Jan 31, 2012

good ideas, thank you.

7:12PM PST on Jan 30, 2012

good ideas

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