I was a lucky, lucky kid. As a child, I was taught valuable life lessons that have been instrumental in forming the way that I see and experience the world in which we live. I learned to look out for others, to always be both strong and kind, to be thankful for everything I have and to never use a paper napkin or a plastic fork when there is an alternative. That last one may seem a bit odd grouped in with the others, but if I were to name my top 5 childhood memories, having bagged lunches complete with a cloth napkin and real silverware would most certainly be among them.
Mom's reasoning behind packing my lunches with such seemingly adult items was tri-fold. First, it taught me responsibility. Each day, I was responsible for bringing home the Tupperware container, napkin and fork that had traveled to school in my lunch bag. Secondly, we were an eco-conscious bunch. If we could avoid disposable things, we did, and if a more permanent item would suffice, it did. Lastly, Mom believed that a person should always have a bit of luxury with every lunch. She too packs real silverware and a cloth napkin with her lunch each day. I'm grown up, on my own and seven states away and still, when I pack my lunch, it includes these very same items.
I prefer a vintage cloth napkin and fork, but even new items are friendlier to the environment than disposable paper and plastic products. You can find vintage napkins and silverware in a number of different places. Antique stores, thrift shops, swap meets, junk shops, and flea markets are all great places to hunt down bargain treasures to make your lunch that much more enjoyable. Online retailers like Grace Homestyle and GRDN have a decent selection of vintage napkins. So when you pack your lunch for tomorrow, toss in a cloth napkin and a real fork and save a little bit of our planet!
30 minutes ago