My attempts to reduce my waste while living at home have been met with a variety of reactions, from understanding to misunderstanding, from helpfulness to laughter and scorn. When I tried to institute cloth napkins back in May, that last pair of reactions was the most prominent. T thought it was gross to reuse them but wasteful to wash them if they'd only been used once (to clarify, at that point we had 8 napkins total, for 4 people). Mom thought having to wash them was a pain in the rear. Dad, after a while, confessed to me that he actually liked using them. And more and more recently, everybody has used the cloth napkins. As I've acquired more, I think their continued presence has helped my family feel like they're commonplace and ok to get dirty. And sometimes everybody used paper ones and I would just silently exchange mine for cloth.
But this. I came home Tuesday with a set of napkin rings and a some more new(ish) napkins from the thrift shop, and I looked at the middle of the kitchen table. I realized that something was missing. Can you tell what it is?
The paper napkin holder is empty. I don't know when it was emptied, I think it may have actually been last week. But it definitely stayed empty for at least three days. Not much, but it's a start.
(This happened with reusable grocery bags as well, near the end of my high school days. I bothered my parents to buy a few, and then kept bringing them along as often as possible, and now we have a fleet of them. By the time the bag tax rolled around a year or so ago, we didn't even have to change our routine.)
Related to this, I've finally gotten around to getting napkin rings for the family. I found a set of 5 wooden rings for 25 cents at the thrift shop, and have now decorated them with sharpies to distinguish each person's ring.