This is Day 35 of the Green in 365 series!
When you think about a green and eco-friendly meal, you usually think about the food that is on the plates; organic, local, pastured, etc. But what about the plates and other dishes that you are using?
First of all, it’s always better to use reusable tableware than disposable paper or plastic. So, if you’re in the habit of using paper plates, plastic silverware, or plastic cups for regular everyday meals, your first step is to invest in some basic plates, silverware and glasses to wash and reuse after meals.
The second step is to avoid plastic as much as possible, even for the kiddos. This is one that my family is still working on with our kids’ dishes, but it’s an important one. Plastic contains many chemicals which can leach into food, especially when heated, like in the microwave.
For kids, safer options include glass, stainless-steel or even wood dishes. We have a set of glass bowls that my kids often use that my mom found at a thrift store for me before I went away to college. They’re not the prettiest, but my kids don’t mind.
You may be wondering about kids breaking glass dishes. I have two thoughts on this 1. Kids don’t actually drop dishes as often as you might think or expect (and believe me when I say that I don’t have calm, always well-behaved children at the table!), and even if the kids do drop a dish, it often doesn’t break. 2. You can find glass so inexpensively, either second-hand, or Ikea has glass dishes for reasonable prices, that even if they do break, it’s not that big of a loss and they can easily be replaced.
Stainless steel options can be expensive, so one option that we came up with was buying some small stainless prep bowls for our kids to use for meals. They seem to be less expensive than actual stainless children’s dishes, but they serve the same purpose. Something like these bowls would be perfect, especially with the lids.
Another inexpensive way to build up your non-plastic dinnerware stash is to shop thrift stores and put together an eclectic collection of vintage tableware. I love this post from This (sorta) Old Life about how to build a great set of mismatched dinnerware.
What kind of dishes do you use at your house?
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