Opting for cloth, saving some trees

This article appears in the Small Earth Stories feature series. View the full series.

I bought a Prius a few years ago and love playing the “Prius Game” minimizing gas consumption. We recycle as much as possible and I drive my husband crazy with my “takeout food box” collection. They aren’t recyclable so I reuse as much as I can. We’ve been using cloth towels and napkins for about 10 years, ever since I realized how many paper napkins got consumed during lunch at work. I put a cloth napkin in my lunch bag, then decided we could do that at home, too. Maybe we’ll save a few trees in our lifetimes. We pull out paper napkins for big parties because we don’t have enough cloth. We don’t use paper towels anymore for cleaning fruits and vegetables or drying hands. Still use them to blot grease but our usage is way down. That ten year-old stash of paper napkins is still in the basement. -- Marie Steinitz and her husband live in New Jersey but love venturing out of state for hiking in spots like Great Smokies National Park below.