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We compost. our plates.

Please go vote for my Sloppy Joes. You can apparently vote multiple times. Voting ends Saturday.


Do you use paper plates or styrofoam? What do you eat on at picnics and parties?
Joe and I use our real dishes 99% of the time, even for entertaining. We figure that it’s cheaper and better for the environment to wash dishes than to buy and trash disposable stuff.  
Sometimes, though, it’s not practical to bring our real dishes along. We haven’t found a good picnic or beach solution, and we’re looking for one. We like to picnic, so when I was given the opportunity to review VerTerra plates and bowls, I jumped at the chance. 
All VerTerra products are made of 2 ingredients. Two. Fallen leaves and water; that’s it! According to Michael Dwork, founder and CEO of VerTerra, 

The leaves are collected from plantations by the owners, traditionally the leaves were burned on the road side. Instead of burning them we thought it better to utilize them so we got permission to pick them up from the plantation owners and started truck (or cart) routes. We bring the fallen leaves to our factory where they are sprayed with high pressure water, steamed and UV sterilized. They then go through a 16 step proprietary process which solely involves steam, heat, cooling and time. They are then put through presses where we press multiple types of leaves and dry them to form the material which is then finally formed into the VerTerra suite of products. 

Once the products are formed they are UV treated a second time to dry and sterilize them. At no point are any chemicals, liquors, glues, bonding agents, or the like used. As I like to say, the only chemicals we buy are soap for the restroom and and detergents for cleaning the floor. (Interview quoted from Tree Hugger)

Seriously, how impressive is that?

I learned from the VerTerra website that these pieces are safe for the oven, the microwave, the fridge, and the freezer. They’re completely washable and reusable. (Use some common sense – hand wash only!) Plus, at just about a dollar a piece, they are cheap enough that you won’t have to feel guilty tossing them on the compost pile in the backyard when you’re through.

Hey, enough from the company, what did Feels like home think?

We like VerTerra.  
My mom and sister, veritable connoisseurs of disposable dinnerware, were most impressed. They served 
a saucy BBQ chicken, buttered rice, and corn on the VerTerra, and the sauce neither soaked through nor stained (although the website says that beets or tomato products can stain, so be warned).  The plates are strong and don’t buckle, even when my sister held hers in her lap in front of the computer.
As I expected, the slightly greasy BBQ sauce and the butter left greasy residue on the plates. A quick dip in soapy dishwater – not a soak, they’re made of leaves and water, remember? – took the grease off and left the plates clean and ready for our next meal.
The only concern I had was that some of the plates are thin. Worrisomely thin. When I washed the thinnest one, it felt awfully flimsy. You know what, though? Once it dried, it was sturdy again, just like when it was new. I can see that we’ll be able to use these plates again and again before throwing them in our backyard compost pile.

These are some neat plates. Environmentally responsible, inexpensive, reusable, and chemical free? Awesome, but those aren’t what I like best about them. 

What’s that, you ask? I think they look really cool. One of mine, in fact, looks like a tree with its light and dark brown stripes. Check them out for yourself!

© 2008 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

5 thoughts on “We compost. our plates.”

  1. Wow! I’ve never heard of those. I’m also not a fan of paper or styrofoam plates due to garbage. I’ve been trying to recycle more too, and so I keep away from paper and styrofoam if I can. That said, it does cause issues sometimes… especially since being pregnant, having lots of people over means lots of dishes to wash later… and that can be annoying. This looks really neat! I’ll have to look into it! Thanks for posting about them!

  2. Wow! I’ve never heard of those. I’m also not a fan of paper or styrofoam plates due to garbage. I’ve been trying to recycle more too, and so I keep away from paper and styrofoam if I can. That said, it does cause issues sometimes… especially since being pregnant, having lots of people over means lots of dishes to wash later… and that can be annoying. This looks really neat! I’ll have to look into it! Thanks for posting about them!

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