Received today via email newsletter from a “natural” parenting publication:
Green Kitchen Tip: Always on the go this summer? Pack cloth napkins with lunch for a homey touch. Use this green tip when packing kids off to summer activities where a snack is required, when going on that long awaited family picnic, or just putting together a lunch for that allâ€“day car trip. Cloth is better for the earth and adds atmosphere to any meal. Plus, you can even make your own fun summer napkins out of scrap cloth from around the house!
Kind of inane, kind of harmless.
Kind of really silly and then the more I think about it, really silly.
First off, I am OG cloth. We use cloth everything here – napkins, cleanup, lady pads, even hankies. The only paper products we use are, well, paper, and toilet paper (don’t laugh at the thought of doing otherwise when it comes to the latter – actually we do have some personal cloth and a link search reminds me that this is a great option).
I have two problems with this little “tip” or “tiplet” or “really stupid paragraph that was a waste of time to write and to read”. This little nugget is featured as a valuable tip in a magazine. So, raise your hand if you don’t know that cloth is usually a more green option than paper.* Hands up? No one? Oh, OK. But did you think of the radical idea of actually using cloth napkins, for say, lunches? Lunches that you pack for a car trip? Whoa! That is the sound of my MIND BEING BLOWN. So, thanks, glossy parenting mag at $4 per issue, for something my cat’s ass could have written.
But the true gem of our abovelisted “tip” is as follows: “You can even make your own fun summer napkins out of scrap cloth from around the house!”
OK. What? Scrap cloth? Are we all milliners here? A show of hands again: who has scrap cloth LYING around the house? (I actually do have yardage folded up in my living room and on some shelves – but I am a very serious seamstress who sews daily – which might be one reason I am irritated at the breezy, just-whip-this-up-on-the-sewing machine crap I seem to see everywhere.) In general people don’t just have cloth, you know, lying around the house.
In fact, if you do have enough cloth lying around the house to make a house-set worth of fun, coordinated summer napkins, I would suggest you might be a hoarder. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb here: this is the sort of “idea” that sounds kind of cute, kind of kicky – and merely encourages people to buy (“Oooh, that fabric was on sale! Maybe I’ll make napkins some time, I’ve always wanted to!”), collect, plan projects they never in fact do, and cram stuff in their closets with projects of noble intentions but no fruition.
Now that doesn’t sound very green after all, does it?
I’m thinking of a new tag to add to my writings, a new category to bitch about: Homemaking idiocy? Sewing snark? Shortcuts for the, oh-they-actually-help-no-one-but-pad-our-publication/product? I’m open to suggestions. I’m also open to hearing why I would ever, ever want to pay for a subscription to a glossy magazine full of this inane dribble.
* If you’re interested in the subject of cloth at home and it’s measuring up to paper products, I thought this was a decent article. FWIW I worked for years in, and enjoyed, a career in the paper industry.