Corelleware For Picnic Ware?   3 comments

This may not come as a huge surprise, but I’m not big on disposable anything, and that includes dishes. In the planning phase of hosting a July 4 bbq one of the questions that came up was what to do for dishes and napkins? Most people would break out with some paper or plastic plates and cups with plastic utensils and paper napkins or paper towels. I just can’t make myself do that if there is any way around it.

Avoiding plastic utensils is easy because we have lots of regular silverware, so long as everyone doesn’t go through multiple forks. And cleaning up? Well, that’s what dishwashers are for (or apparently mothers-in-law in the case of our bbq). And when camping you’ve probably got to clean a pot or two at least, so cleaning a fork isn’t a big deal.

We do have a handful of paper plates and disposable bamboo plates from past camping trips and the first week or so after moving, but not enough for the number of people we were expecting. Buying more was out of the question. Our Fiestaware plates and bowls would have been enough, probably, but when talking picnic/bbq where there’s lots of movement inside and outside with plates balancing on knees sometimes, I’m not sure that my nice breakable collection is the best choice. Plus I’ve gotten resistance in the past at the idea of using dishes that can break/have to be washed for casual parties. Then I remembered the box of pretty-darn-unbreakable Correlleware in our garage. They’re the dishes passed down from my mom to my brother and I to get us started when we first moved out on our own. I’ve now got the Fiestaware, and my brother insists that it’s okay if I give away his half of the dishes, too. But for some reason I haven’t been able to do that yet. I’m not sure if it was sentimentality or practicality, but it turns out that may have been a good choice. Those are perfect dishes for picnics, bbq’s, parties, and maybe even camping! For camping they’d be easier on knives than metal plates, easier to clean than wooden plates, and on a par with reusable plastic plates. And since they aren’t our primary dishes even if they do get broken it is no big deal.

Where we cheated was on the napkins and cups. I do not have a good solution for party cups. With the exception of wine glasses and brandy snifters, no one ever wants to use glass at a party, or so I’ve learned. So we have paper cups made from partially recycled paper. Since I don’t know what they’re waxed with we didn’t compost them, but finding compostable paper cups might be the best option. For camping we just keep refilling our water bottles for water, and we have travel mugs for hot drinks in the morning. The obvious best solution for napkins is a whole lot of cloth napkins that just get tossed in the next load of laundry. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to get around to making cloth napkins. While we don’t have any paper towels in the house, though, we do have a stack of leftover napkins from take-out (another bad eco- and healthy living sin of mine). Even if we stopped getting take-out today (yeah, right), we’d still have enough napkins to make it through the year.

Posted July 7, 2011 by mayakey in conscious living, frugal living, resource use

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3 responses to “Corelleware For Picnic Ware?

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  1. There was a party I attended where there were compost-able plastic cups (and plates too I think). I don’t know how well they actually brake down but we did throw them in the party throwers compost pile…or you could just by buy some sturdy plastic cups to wash and reuse. Or I’ve had smaller parties where I just brake out the glasses.

    • Eventually when I feel more confident in my composting I might try compostable plastic cups, but I’m guessing that they take a while to decompose. At the Green Festivals they compost all of the plastic utensils and cups from the food court, so if industrial composters can do it theoretically a regular person can, too, right?

      For our holiday party we stick with the glasses, but I need to come up with alternatives for picnics/outdoor gatherings/kids. (Which I guess I’ll have to come up with anyway for when we actually have a little one in the house.)

  2. I like your information which is very useful for me. Thanks.

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