About a year ago, Recycla wrote a post about her ideas for greening her family’s entertaining. Instead of using disposable plates, cups, and utensils for dinners and parties, she planed to search the local thrift shops and stock up on everything she needed. She has a lot of cabinet space, so storage is not a concern.
A year later, Recycla is happy to say that this plan has worked out very well. Recycla has plain white dishes already and has been able to find other simple white dishes to supplement them. Smaller buffet/dessert plates have been much easier to find than dinner plates, so while she has a few dozen of the smaller ones, she is still looking for the larger ones. She also found plenty of wineglasses, which came in handy last month when she hosted a couple dozen girlfriends for a Girls’ Night Out. Utensils have been a bit harder to find, so she’s still looking for forks but has enough to get by for now.
But what about implementing the plan? How much work was it? As she mentioned earlier, Recycla had a crowd at her house last month. She used no disposables, except for paper napkins made of recycled content. She put a bowl on the counter with a note that said, “Recycle napkins here — to be composted later.” At the end of the evening, the full bowl was taken to the compost bin. As for the dishes, Recycla ran the dishwasher and was done with it. She didn’t even have to empty the kitchen garbage can afterward. Overall, using regular dishes, glasses, and utensils was no more work than if she’d used disposables and generated far less waste.
If you can, Recycla encourages you to look for ways to cut back on your waste when you entertain. If you don’t have room for more dishes, see if you can borrow from neighbors. If you do use disposables, avoid plastic and go with paper-based products that can be composted or recycled later.
Tell the Eco Women: How do you cut back on waste when you entertain?
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