Verterra All Natural Dinnerware: Worth Checking Out
greener.ideal | Aug. 21, 2009 | FROM THE WEB
It's not uncommon to find biodegradable or compostable plates or cups being used for dinners or events lately, but sometimes creating recycled paper products takes more energy than they're worth.
That's why Verterra's all-natural dinnerware stands out as different from the rest. Although the company has been around for a couple of years, their products are still even more earth-friendly and cutting edge as their competitors' products.
If you're not familiar with Verterra's products or process, they mold plates, bowls, and platters by soaking leaves in water and then pressing them in a waffle-iron style contraption. The result is a wood-like dish that can be used in a microwave, oven, refrigerator, or dishwasher, but is still eco-friendly enough to biodegrade naturally 2 months after it gets tossed out. Since they're made from leaves they're non-toxic and use no added chemicals or bleach (unlike some paper plates).
Verterra's products are so good, they're now even the official serviceware of the Statue of Liberty!
What holds many people back from buying dishes of this sort is usually the price - but in the past year, through improvements in their manufacturing, Verterra has been able to cut their costs by 50%, making the plates almost as affordable as disposable products from your local grocery store. Their factories also use 10% of the energy that most recycled paper plate factories use.
Since the fallen leaves would otherwise have been burned, finding a proper use for them and letting them dissolve back into the earth is the most environmentally-friendly way to deal with them. The leaf-scraps that are produced while making the plates are crushed into powder and provided as fertilizer to the farmers who send leaves to Verterra. Since none of the leaves are ever thrown away, a Verterra manufacturing plant only produces around 2-3 regular trash bins worth of waste in an entire month.
Verterra is also in an ongoing process of recapturing and reusing the water used to press the leaves. 2 years ago only 50% of the water was reused - now, it's up to 84% (with hopes of reaching 90% eventually). The water they recapture is even clean enough for Verterra's CEO to drink - and he has!
Bottom line: if you're looking for an eco-friendly way to cater a party, picnic, event, or just for some seasonal decoration, Verterra is the brand to go with. They are a truly sustainable business that keeps their community and environment in mind.