Wash Your Outdoor Dinnerware? No, Compost It!

Roundup

Thinking about your last BBQ of the summer season? Labor Day weekend is just around the corner, so take advantage of the remaining summer nights—enjoy friends, grill locally-grown corn and peaches, and eat outside. And unless you're setting the table for just a few, there's always the dinnerware to consider. With so many options on the market, it can be difficult to determine product differences and benefits. So, here are three brands that aren't only eco-friendly, but will also add a whole lot of flair to your table setting.1 WASARA tableware is made from renewable resources such as sugar cane fiber, bamboo, and reed pulp and is completely tree-free in its production inputs. The Japanese-influenced artful designs have gently curving clean lines. They are biodegradable and compostable, even in your home system. They will withstand the hot temperatures of coffee and soup just as well as they uphold to the cooler temperatures of ice cream. WASARA products are available from online retailers Joanne Hudson Basics, Green Party Goods, and Branch. Prices range from $10 for six coffee cups to $14 for eight of their signature trays. Large dinner plates are available in packages of eight for $12. These items can be purchased in bulk quantities as well.

2 Looking for a more traditional style? All Occasion Veneerware is Bambu's indoor and outdoor single-use plate. Its understated, classic design will perfectly set any table. Made from bamboo stalk, this dinnerware and flatware is FDA food-safe approved—neither bleach nor dyes are used in the production of this product. After disposal, these wares will biodegrade in four to six months. This sturdy alternative to the paper or plastic plate is extremely durable and is made from 100% organically-grown bamboo. Available from online retailers Joanne Hudson Basics and Branch, expect to pay between $7 for eight 7" plates to $13 for a pack of eight 11" plates. Serving trays are available in packs of four for $10 and eight settings of flatware will cost you $10. Items can be purchased in bulk.

3 VerTerra dinnerware is made from fallen leaves and water, that's it. And the product's design is as simple as its inputs, but elegant enough to set any table, inside or out. Marketed as "non-toxic, biodegradable, compostable, durable, lightweight, convenient, and stylish," these super-sturdy dinner plates are microwave and oven safe. Because the dinnerware isn't made using bonding agents, lacquers or chemicals, it's considered natural and porous; therefore, the company can't say the product is multi-use, even though it seems durable enough to be. The dinnerware will biodegrade within two months and is BPI-certified as 100% compostable. Available from online retailer Joanne Hudson Basics, when purchased in small quantities, these products are the most expensive of our options. A small bowl costs $4.94 each while a large plate is $6.99. If purchasing this product, consider buying bulk quantities—it will save you! A pack of 25 small bowls costs $16.99 while a pack of 25 medium plates run $22.46.

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