Having small children can be messy at meal times and we have always given them a 'paper' napkin to wipe their hands and their face. My husband as you may recall does all of our grocery shopping and likes to buy in bulk so we had a ton of paper napkins - we just this morning used the last one, so my package arriving today was great timing. No more paper napkins, that get used once and then tossed out. We are now going with cloth.
I bought my napkins off E-Bay - vintage was the description which means 'used' - So we are not only going to save throwing away the paper but we are also reusing. Ones mans junk is anothers treasure. I purchased 45 napkins for approximately $1.00 each. Enough napkins to last us through several meal periods without having to wash them. It would be a shame to waste additional energy to ensure we had clean napkins - sort of counter environmentally productive.
I think now I am going to invest in some 'napkin rings' just to add some flare to our meals. Having the cloth napkins too reminds me of meals with my grandparents who always used cloth napkins. A mix of differnent patterned cloth napkins - just like mine.