Eco-Friendly Bamboo...

Nestling at the back of one of our kitchen cupboards...

are a little Maisy Mouse plate and Thomas the Tank Engine bowl. They belong to my now grown up children and I feel stupidly attached to them. They’re plastic - probably contain some not so great chemicals - and are the only ones I kept aside from a couple of cute ceramic plates they eventually moved on to. The rest were given away, hopefully to be used again, but my guess is most of them ended up in landfill sites and are still there.

It’s not something I’m proud of, but I was grateful to have a practical, affordable alternative to ceramic tableware when the children were tiny.  Naturally, I’m all for introducing toddlers to ceramic plates and bowls, but this is a learning process and in the meantime they need something light-weight and shatter proof that can be bashed and dropped on a regular basis!

Fast forward a couple of decades...

...and we’re facing a full-blown global plastic catastrophe so finding ways to reduce our consumption and work with alternatives is the only way forward. I started stocking bamboo based children’s tableware in the spring and the response has been fantastic. After reading some of the most recent statistics - 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic weighing 250,000 tons are currently floating on the high seas - we’ve made a few changes at home and I’ve bought several more biodegradable pieces for the shop!

Useful facts...

Bamboo is technically a grass so can be cut without killing the plant - it simply continues growing, naturally replenishing itself with no need for new planting. It’s 100% biodegradable.

Unlike trees, bamboo grows quickly - from 3 to 5 ft per year depending on the type and climate - making it highly renewable. It can also be grown and harvested without the use of pesticides.

As well as being light-weight, bamboo is heat, stain and water resistant and won’t absorb odours.

Bamboo tableware is strong, durable and easy to clean whether by hand or in the dishwasher.

But it’s not microwave or oven safe. For this, ceramic tableware is still the best option and, being a safe, highly durable product, made with natural materials,  remains a great choice for children’s tableware.

Anyway, I’ve promoted Thomas and Maisy to family heirloom status. Meissen they’re not, but they were present at many happy mealtimes and we’ll be hanging on to them for good!

The environmental photos included here were taken by The Ocean Cleanup who develop advanced technologies to rid our oceans of plastic. They are currently undertaking the largest clean up in history beginning with what’s known as The Great Pacific Garbage Patch between Hawaii and California where 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic are calculated to be floating.

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