A very happy Monday, MNN readers, and welcome to the seventh installment of "The garden party," a new product-centric weekly series geared toward all of you al fresco entertainers, patio partiers and backyard BBQ'ers out there. The emphasis, as you may have gathered, is on outdoor entertaining paraphernalia that boast one or more of the following eco-friendly attributes: a. handmade b. made from sustainable or recycled materials c. domestically manufactured or d. durable/made-to-last so in that they’ll be used not just this summer but for many more summers to come.


Normally, I'm loath to feature products that fall under the umbrella of the dreaded "D word": disposable. But when it comes to outdoor entertaining, however, I totally understand that breaking out the fine china — or any sort of reusable dishware for that matter — is often a no-go. Because really, who wants to spend the entire day after a grub-heavy backyard get-together washing piles of BBQ sauce-smeared plates while nursing a tequila headache? Not me, certainly.


Thankfully, there are numerous table and serveware options out there for waste-conscious party throwers opting to go the disposable route. Below, you'll find just a few said single-use options that are made from a variety of biodegradable and/or compostable materials (read: not plastic or other petroleum-based substances) for your consideration. Many of these pieces can be tossed right into a backyard compost pile after being used and should break down within a matter of months instead of decades. And if you do​ opt for party paraphernalia of the reuseable and plastic variety, I highly recommend investing in party-perfect place settings from Preserve.


Have you switched over to compostable/biodegradable disposal tableware when entertaining? I'd love to hear about your favorite brands or materials in the comments section.


Compostable Party Kit @ Branch ($49.99 - $152)















7" Colorful Susty Party Compostable Starch Plate @ Susty Party (starting at $12.99)














Compostable Drinking Straws @ Green Depot ($2.95/pack of 50)















All Occasion Veneerware Sporks @ Bambu ($10/pack of 24)















Wasara Biodegradable Tableware @ A+R Store ($9 - $14)















7" Spudware Set @ GreenPartySupply ($4/pack of 10)













EcoPalm Heart Plate @ EcoPalm ($7.11/pack of 20)














Repurpose 12-Ounce Insulated Disposable Cups @ Bed Bath & Beyond ($4.99/pack of 12)












FSC Wood Compostable Forks @ Susty Party (starting at $12.99)














Compostable Cold Cups @ Green Depot ($4.95/pack of 20)















Past installments of the "the garden party"

Fun and games

• Mood lighting

• Non-invited guest deterrents 

• Portable speakers

• Grill gear

• Cocktail hour




Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Biodegradable disposables: The garden party
Goodbye landfill-clogging plastic Solo cups, hello compostable, corn-based beer vessels. If single-use tableware comes into play at your next al fresco fiesta,