Friday, April 8, 2011

Make Your Next Picnic Biodegradable

For anyone who is environmentally conscious, perhaps one of the biggest pet peeves is plastic silverware. Every plastic knife and fork will be used for about 20 minutes and then thrown into a landfill, where it will sit for thousands of years. Picnics and family barbecues begin to look more like ecological disasters than summer pastimes. Fortunately, there are alternatives. 

Thankfully, if you'd like a fork without a longer lifespan than yourself, there are now biodegradable options. Corn based utensils are available on sites like BiodegradableStore.com. Here are a few of the pros and cons of making the switch to dinnerware that’s a little less eternal.

Pros
• Corn based products are completely biodegradable.
• While not as cheap as plastic, prices have come down. You can buy them for around $7 for a 50 pack.
• Most products have an attractive color and texture.
• Can be added to a compost pile, rather than just thrown away.

Cons
• Utensils are more fragile. Some people have complained of a corn-based fork’s inability to puncture lettuce. This does vary by brand however, and I was able to get through a meal without mishaps.
• Corn utensils cannot handle temperatures higher than 140° F. If you leave your spoon in your soup, you might find is has become a soggy garnish.
• Corn based products are more expensive than plastic.

Have you tried other biodegradable products? Did they work as well as non-biodegradable versions? Let us know below.

-KS

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