Borrow reusable table ware for your large holiday gatherings

Reusable plates, bowls and napkins look more appealing and reduce the waste at your holiday gathering. Don't be afraid to mix and match for an interesting look!

Ever thought of partnering with your family and friends to share reusable plates, cutlery, cups and napkins for your large holiday parties?

There is no denying that the holiday season generates an enormous amount of waste. It only takes a few simple changes to reduce the waste that you and your family are sending to the landfill. One of those changes is to start thinking “reusable” when you shop and entertain. It is truly amazing how much waste you can reduce when you minimize single-use items such as Styrofoam plates or cups and plastic cutlery.

When is reusable tableware not eco-friendly? When you only use it on a rare occasion. The key to making reusable tableware eco-friendly is to really use it.

Even though it does take energy and water to produce and clean the ceramic or china plates, the benefit is that they can be reused again and again – for many years! If you are having a really large party, borrow some reusable tableware from family and friends. This way you don’t have to run out and buy a large number of plates, cups and utensils that will only be used infrequently. And don’t forget the cloth napkins.

My family had a large chili party the Saturday after Thanksgiving for some out-of-town relatives. Several of us brought our ceramic bowls and cutlery, along with a tub to bring it home. This worked well and no one had to buy additional reusable products that would only be used two or three times per year. In addition, the ceramic bowls were so much more appealing than Styrofoam bowls for our guests.

Another idea for “greener” entertaining – serve “finger foods” which greatly reduces the amount of tableware needed.  

If you are in the market for inexpensive ceramic tableware, local thrift stores are a good place to look. Also, some of the local dollar stores have really good prices on ceramic dishes. Whether you borrow tableware or buy your own, don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns and colors – it makes for a very interesting table setting!

So SHARE and USE your reusable tableware this holiday season to make a difference!

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Did you know: By some estimates, the single-use plates, cups, forks and spoons used in the United States each year would circle the equator 300 times.

Brenda OReilly

Co-Chair of the Bay Village Green Team

Read More on Green Scene
Volume 5, Issue 25, Posted 10:53 AM, 12.10.2013