VerTerra dinnerware deserves every award and accolade they receive! While company founder Michael Dwork was traveling through India, he observed a woman cooking and serving food at the side of the road. Using only leaves and water, she made plates in a hot press and used them to serve the food. Mr. Dwork refined the concept, adding almost thirty steps to the process – but never any glues, chemicals, waxes, or lacquers – and the result is a line of environmentally-friendly disposable plates, bowls, and serving dishes.
The method particularly interested me. The company’s workers in South Asia collect fallen leaves that are ordinarily burned – no trees are cut – which are cleaned and sterilised with high pressure water, steam, and UV rays. They are then pressed into simple yet elegant plates and bowls designed for one-time use and disposal, ideally in a compost bin. Production uses 10 percent of the energy used in recycling, and recaptures and reuses 80 percent of the water used. Disposed of properly, the “borrowed” plates and bowls return to the Earth, almost perfectly combining the benefits of low-impact living with the convenience of disposable products. Indeed, VerTerra’s only impact on the environment occurs when the dinnerware is shipped from India!
When mine arrived, I used them as an excuse to invite a friend over for dinner. First impression? ”They are way prettier than your regular dishes!” Thanks, friend. They also fulfilled their promise and held up to microwaving as well to the moisture in the food. Although VerTerra dishes are meant to be composted, I should confess…I still have mine! I rinsed what I used and am reusing them: I throw chopped fruit or vegetables in them for dinner; a handful of limes sits in a bowl on the counter; and dried peppers, ginger, and garlic share space on a tray.
I really recommend everyone try out VerTerra. Whether you’re having a party for one or one hundred, you can greatly reduce the time you spend washing dishes and your carbon footprint. At last, common ground between the disposables devotee and the eco-conscious Earth mama!