Saturday, December 19, 2009

Party Dishware Dilemma

Green Holiday Action #19

Party planning always brings into question whether to use paper, plastic or dishware that needs washing.

Plastic is out. Some plastic can be washed and reused. But in the end, it is still plastic. There are some new products made from biodegradable plant starches that do offer a disposable option. Unfortunately, they aren't always easy to find.

For napkins, I went with cocktail napkins made from 100% recycled paper - 50% post consumer - with water based inks. And better yet, they were made in the U.S. Do they have pictures of snowmen or poinsettias? No. But they are neutral with a leaf pattern.

In the end I decided to use my stainless steel silverware and some restaurant grade glass plates leftover from my days as a caterer. These glass plates are durable, go with everything and wash easily.

I also decided to use small dishwasher-safe glass wine glasses for everyone, even the kids. (P.S. no breakage and glass actually made everyone pay more attention to their drinks. 50+ people and no spills.)

Yes, I will be using water to wash my dishware, but I think it was my greenest choice. Maybe next year my holiday party will have an island theme and we'll have everyone eat off of banana leaves.

The holiday tree is live.

Decorations all came from yard cuttings and
trimmed pine boughs.

P.S. All those people generated only one small bag of trash and a large container of recyclables. The best part, we collected donations for a charity.

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