In January, I recommended a few super green bowls
to stock your cupboards with. After endless harassment from a brigade of disenfranchised plates, I’ve given in … here’s a selection of unique plates of all shapes and sizes and made from an assortment of unlikely materials — old traffic lights, bamboo sheath and vintage china, for example — to keep those bowls company.
New on the disposable/reusable dinnerware scene, these sturdy and 100 percent biodegradable plates differ from their bamboo dinnerware brethren: They’re made from often discarded bamboo sheath, making them extra eco since no part of the living bamboo plant is harmed. Utensils, bowls, and specialty items are also available. Got questions? Email Rusty Burleigh
Trixie Delicious Vandalized Vintage Seven Deadly Sins plate set @ Etsy
($140/set of 7)
New Zealand’s Trixie Delicious works cheeky magic on vintage dinnerware that would otherwise be trashed or sit around collecting dust. These 6-inch bone china saucers are given a makeover with nontoxic, food-safe ceramic paint. Be sure to check out the full Vandalized Vintage line at Trixie’s Etsy shop
Preserve Tableware Pack @ Preserve
Prep for picnic season with Preserve's Tableware Pack that includes 10 large plates, 8 small plates, and a combo pack of cutlery all made from recycled #5 polypropylene plastic collected through the Gimme 5
recycling program and from companies like Stonyfield Farm. Plates are reusable, dishwasher-safe, and available in Pear Green, Berry Red, Apple Green and Midnight Blue.
Zak Designs Confetti Divided Plates @ Target
($39.99/set of 6)
Ideal for a messy fiesta, these bold n’ brassy dishwasher-safe plates are made from recycled melamine. The divided, peace sign-y design keeps foods separate, a godsend for those with serious cases of intermingling-food-neuroses.
To increase efficiency, a significant number of traffic lights have gotten LED upgrades. Where do all the old glass lenses go? Many are trashed, unfortunately, but a special few are repurposed into dinnerware. Recycled Glassworks sells two sizes of Traffic Light Dishes — 8-inch and 12-inch — in red, yellow, orange, and blue (otherwise known as the “green light.”)
The plates in Ecosource’s sturdy and dishwasher-safe Grenware line — available in two sizes and in two colors, Cocoa and Natural — are made from renewable plant fibers like bamboo, straw, and rice hulls and are colored naturally sans chemical dyes. They have a shelf life of five years and after that you can toss or compost ‘em guilt-free.