Update on Eco Entertaining

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.

Because she shopped at thrift shops, Recycla spent very little money on this project — usually 25 cents for utensils, a dollar or less for plates, and around 25-50 cents for wine glasses.

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?

Photo credits: Yahoo Images


3 thoughts on “Update on Eco Entertaining

  1. Brilliantly executed!
    We almost never use disposables (except napkins if the crowd is big) and substitute Mason jars for glasses since we have tons of them.
    I also have a stash of empty plastic food containers (like from Cool Whip) for sending along leftovers with people. I choked last Thanksgiving when my sister in law pulled out packages of brand new Ziplock plastic containers she’d bought for people’s leftovers. Ummmm….the old margarine containers and yogurt containers are FREE! GAH!

  2. I have a meeelion wine and other glasses which don’t match, and they look great all together. We have frequent get-togethers here so they are needed. I’m planning on gradually getting more plates and things but I need to make the time to go searching the antique strip in nearby Boscombe. Fantastic place, lots of antique stores but you need to dig about to find the good stuff!

  3. I love the eco decorating! I use “real” plates, cups and saucers at my parties. They are definitely sturdier and don’t fill up the landfills. All it takes is a little soap and water and . . . elbow grease but I’ve got plenty of that 😉

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