Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Review: Eco-friendly Dinnerware II

Company: Branch

Company that Manufactures: Wasara

Line: Wasara tableware

Materials: Tree-free renewable materials (sugar cane fiber, bamboo, and reed pulp)

Dimensions: 3.1”, 5.9”, 8.0” in square (aka “Kaku”)
3.5”, 6.5”, 9.0” in circle (aka “Maru”)

My Overview: The Wasara collection comes in all-white. The plates, both square and circle, have a little lip on one side of the plate; I suppose it’s in order to help with gripping. The bottom side of the plate is textured and fells/looks like a paper plate. The plates feel thin and do not have the heaviness that I’ve seen in other similar options. The plates are stylish and the collection at-large looks like a Japanese design (they market it that way).

The Bottom Line:
They come in bulk packs or smaller consumer sizes

Small (sleeve of 200): $104, $0.52 each
Medium (sleeve of 100): $90, $0.90 each
Large (sleeve of 100): $128, $1.28 each

My Thoughts: While stylish, the overall collection would not work for the wedding. I believe this collection might be good for a cocktail party or rehearsal dinner. (I will review the collections bowls, cups, etc in a later post.)

Other: You can order a sample pack from Branch on their website.

The 8" square plate
The bottom side of the 8" square plate is a textured, slightly rough surface.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Review: Eco-friendly Dinnerware I

Company: Branch

Company that Manufactures: Bambu (located in China)

Name of Product Line: Veneerware Plates

Materials: 100% organically-grown bamboo, peeled directly from the stalk

Dimensions: 7”, 9”, or 11” diameter

My Overview: These are sturdy (heavier than a ‘heavy paper plate’) good-looking plates. I would use these for a wedding or special occasion. Each plate has a nice ~1 inch raised rim around the plate. On the back side of the plate, it states “Bambu.” If you were thinking about using chargers, you could spray paint the 11” plate and have the 9” nestle inside it. The 7” plates would be good for appetizers.

The Bottom Line:
Bulk packs of 100 (they also come in other amounts):
7” -- $65.00, $0.65 each
9” -- $ 85.00, $0.85 each
11” -- $127.00, $1.27 each

My Thoughts: We may select the 7” plates for the appetizers; I think that the plates are very nice (one of my top choices) but the price is a bit high.

Other info: You can order a Sample Pack from Branch's website.

(personal photo)
The three sizes of plates. They have a good texture and heaviness. A guest looking at them will tell that they are made out of a material other than paper pulp.

(personal photo)

This is the 9" nestled in the 11" plate. The line you see down the 9" looks like a stitch mark of where the materials came together (I think that adds, not detracts, from the plate). All of the plates have these marks.

(personal photo)

The bottom of the plate states the manufacturer "bambu." I like this feature, as it distinguishes itself as something more than a regular 'chinet' paper plate. You can also see the grain.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Cheaper Options: Eco-friendly Dinnerware instead of rented

By choosing a unique venue that does not come with tables, chairs, plates, etc. we knew that it could potentially cost a bit more for having to rent everything. After checking out rental prices for dinnerware, we thought we could save money by choosing bamboo plates. After looking at various options, we found that to be true. [I also looked into the cost of plastic plates, and melamine ones; they tend to cost just as much as the rental plates plus they look and feel cheap.]

I ordered sample packs from various companies, and will review each set over the course of this week. I will also review other compostable/biodegradable cups, silverware, etc. as well.

After the reception, I will be giving the dinnerware to a friend of the family who composts (a win-win solution: saving money while keeping more garbage out of landfills). For those thinking about having a “green wedding” and/or thinking about ways to save money – it is possible if you think outside of the box.