Every once in awhile, you get the perfect gift--a gift that you really wanted, that is useful and, in my case, eco-friendly. My amazing aunt from California recently sent my family a set of napkin rings with our names inscribed on them. They are attractive, practical, and hands-down my favorite gift of the season.
I gave up on paper napkins a long time ago to save trees, but washing cloth napkins after one use is often unnecessary and wasteful. Prior to my new beautiful napkin rings, I couldn't keep track of which napkin went with which kid. Now after meals, each child slides their napkin (assuming it isn’t too yucky) back into his or her napkin ring, and voilà! We're ready for the next meal.
My aunt bought these at F.lli Peruzzi in Florence, but click through for some eco-friendly options closer to home. (Although these choices can’t be inscribed with names, you could use colored stickers or stitches to identify family members.)
1. Napkin Hugs by FUZ, $15 for four, Branch
2. Bamboo napkin rings, $15 for four, Bambeco
3. Raymaille napkin rings by Chilewich, $19 for two, Velocity Art and Design
4. Upcycled burlap napkin rings by ARemarkYou Made, $20 for four, Etsy.com
Francesca Olivieri is co-founder of sage baby, an online eco-friendly baby store offering everything from organic clothes and skin care to furniture. She also runs a green consulting business; blogs for The Family Groove and Scenic Hudson; and contributes to Daily Candy Kids, YogaCity, Citiscoop, and NRDC’s Simple Steps. Please visit her website at FrancescaOlivieri.com.