Food Waste

Published on January 28th, 2013 | by Becky Striepe


Reduce Waste on the Go: The Purse Napkin

reduce waste purse napkin

Need an easy way to reduce waste when you’re eating on the go? Meet my purse napkin!

When we talk about food waste, we normally mean actual food getting wasted. While this is a huge problem, spoiled and excess food isn’t the only waste associated with our eating habits. When you’re grabbing a bite on the go, you’re often relying on take out or restaurant food, and that comes with lots of secondary waste, like plastic utensils, Styrofoam containers, and paper napkins.

One easy way I’ve found to reduce waste when I’m eating out is by keeping a small, cloth napkin in my purse. I call it my purse napkin, and it’s saved me countless times from having to take paper napkins or paper towels!

The best part about the purse napkin is that you don’t need to spend any money to start using one. Do you have cloth napkins or handkerchiefs at home? Stick one in your purse, and you are all set! Fellas, you can easily stash a hankie in your pocket, if you don’t carry a man bag.

If you don’t have a stash of cloth napkins or hankies at home, here are some inexpensive options for you:

  • Hit the thrift store. I find cloth napkins at the thrift every time I go.
  • Sew your own. Check out this cloth napkin tutorial from our sister site, Crafting a Green World!
  • No-sew your own. Don’t sew? No problem! Borrow a pair of pinking shears, and cut a square of fabric to whatever size you want. Pinking shears are special scissors that make a jagged edge, so your fabric won’t unravel, even though you’re not hemming it.

What are some easy ways you guys have found to reduce waste when you’re eating on the go? I’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions in the comments!

photo by Becky Striepe

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

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