If I had three wishes, one of them would be the eradication of plastic from my home.
(I have no idea what the other 2 would be. It kind of stresses me out to even think about it…)
But, of course, I do not have three wishes, and I have found over the past years that even though I make every effort to NOT buy or use plastic, it’s just plain HARD to get rid of it all!
I’ve gotten rid of plastic bottles, I’ve started using stainless steel straws, I’ve switched out all of our containers to glass. But so many things come wrapped in it, or clamshelled up in it, and some things aren’t available in any option other than plastic.
…and then there’s the kid stuff. Namely, toys.
I scour the web looking for the best deals on cute, educational, eco-friendly, non-toxic toys, and I find a lot. There’s a great selection out there, but it’s really, really hard to convince everyone else to do the same. People just want to go to Wal-Mart or Target and buy something. And 99% of the time, there’s nothing but plastic to buy.
My mom and dad have been doing a great job of finding toys at yard sales. My mom is pretty discerning, and has an eagle eye for great finds, so I trust her to pick things out. I’ve bent the rules on yard sale finds, because I like the thought of reusing toys and not buying new. I also like that these toys were made a long time ago, many of them NOT in China, and much of what might be toxic has already off-gassed (on some other kid, unfortunately. )
Here’s an example. Some non-PVC Little People made in Mexico in 1991. Perfect? No. But in my opinion, much better than China circa 2007 or 8.
So, yes. I’ve been flexible on the plastic. (Does that sound punny?) Some days, it’s just too hard to try to micromanage every little thing. But the one thing that is not up for debate is our collection of eating utensils and anything that touches our food (especially my son’s food, and especially when it’s warm or hot.) We work hard to eliminate toxic, unnatural substances from our diets, so it only makes sense to NOT put them back in by exposing our foods to plastic. (Confession: We do switch back and forth from a wooden high chair to a plastic one from a yard sale. Eco-friendly repurposing or hypocrisy? I’m not sure…)
The only problem with that is figuring out what to serve my son’s food in. Glass? Heavy and breakable. Ceramic? Ditto. Metal? Ok, but sometimes expensive, hard to find and not that cute. I will admit that I sometimes look longingly at the cute, colorful plasticware on the store shelves (and then I snap out of it real quick, but you get the idea…)
So, what’s the answer? Check this out: I found tableware made of CORN!
Dandelion ReUsables are made from cornstarch, which is renewable and sustainable, using far fewer greenhouse gasses in its production than conventional petroleum-based plastics. They are free of Bisphenol A, PVC and Phthalates, and the packaging is even made from 100% recycled paperboard.
So we decided to give Dandelion a try.
On top of being a bright, sunny yellow that is sure to catch a toddler’s attention, all the cornstarch-based Dandelion products we tried were very lightweight and easy to handle. The plates are deep enough to hold foods in nicely – even salsa, which my son is very into for dipping right now. The forks are not sharp at all, but he still had no trouble stabbing food and feeding himself.
We’ve also used these with pasta sauce, and nothing has stained yet…which is really nice. Because that’s gross.
Bonus: they’re really affordable at around $8 for two bowls, two plates OR 8 utensils.
Well, it’s hard to find cons with a simple plate or spoon, but I guess I should point out that these are not microwave or dishwasher safe. But, I don’t have a dishwasher, so it’s not an issue here. And I am trying to limit microwave use anyway, so I kind of like how using these plates serves as a (sort of) reminder…
So, folks, I think we have a winner here. Can you tell?
And another…just for fun…
Interested in learning more about Dandelion ReUsables, or purchasing your own? Visit the Toddler Feeding section of Dandelion’s website. The Dandelion Foundation will contribute a portion of the proceed from your purchase to support organizations providing food to Americans living with hunger.
While you’re there, make sure to check out their bamboo plush, supercute crocheted rattles, and more!