Etsy is a place where truly creative people can sell their goods directly to you. There are knitters, jewelers, sewers, quilters, glassware creators, and even those who feel “geekery” describes their goods best! You really need to take a look if you haven’t yet – but fair warning here – if you do, plan on being there for a while. There are so many beautiful things, it’s hard to pull yourself away.
Verterra Plates – Reusable and Biodegradable September 19, 2008
Recently, I was asked to try out reusable, biodegradable plates made from only leaves and water. Just leaves and water? And reusable? This caught my interest. They’re made by a company called Verterra that bases its name on a Latin term meaning “true to the Earth”.
The plates are made with 3 different kinds of leaves that would normally have been burned on the side of the road. The outer layer provides water resistance from leaves with a thick wax cuticle. The next layer uses leaves that absorbs moisture and the middle contains leaves with sap. When you put them all together with a little steam, heat, and pressure, it makes for plates that are durable and usable up to about 8-10 times with a quick wash of warm soap and water. Their site does say, however, that tomato sauces and beets can stain the plates, which I did find to be true after using some salad dressing with sun dried tomatoes.
Other interesting features of the plates are:
- All natural, chemical and bleach free
- No plastics or waxes
- 100% compostable
- Made of 100% renewable plant materials
- Biodegrades naturally in 2 months
- Microwave, oven and refrigerator-safe
- No trees are cut down–made from only fallen leaves
The plates come in different shapes and sizes that range from packs of 10 or 12 from $8.99 – $12.99. So yes, they are more expensive than your ordinary paper plates but they’re a lot more Earth friendly, use safer materials, biodegrade in about 2 months, and are made by a company that provides hundreds of fair-wage jobs in developing regions in South Asia. So the next time you’re planning a BBQ, picnic or hiking trip, you now have an alternative to often wax or paraffin coated disposables that look beautiful and really make an eco-statement.
“Greener” Ikea September 8, 2008
Ikea has recently invested $77 million into clean technology start-up companies. This could mean that affordable green technologies, such as solar panels, could be offered by the store within several years! Ikea will eliminate plastic bags from their checkouts this fall and years ago phased out formaldehyde and PVC in its core products. Ikea is now even “greener” – I think I need to go shopping!