Over Labor Day weekend I took a took a "working" vacation with my three partners of Clever Girls Collective to Parajo Dunes on Monterey Bay. We made it fun by bringing our families, who wouldn't let us spend the entire time online updating Facebook and Twitter.
It was a gorgeous location, and in between serious social media strategy planning, we had a great time relaxing. That mostly meant eating and drinking as often as possible.
Imagine for a moment what all of that eating and drinking means in terms of dishes. Eight adults, five kids, and ice cream cake. Bottomless bowls of pasta. A case (or a few) of wine.
The dishwasher was overwhelmed.
As anyone who's ever gone on a group vacation knows, salvation lies with disposable plates and cups. But as anyone who's ever been to San Francisco knows, there's also lot of green guilt that goes with anything disposable.
Fortunately I had a secret weapon: Bare by Solo.
Back when I was writing for Green Daily, and posting rather often on the importance of compostable coffee cups, the company invited me to try out the line of recyclable and compostable tableware, and to be on the Bare by Solo Advisory Board.
I was delighted to accept, and they sent me a bunch of plates and cups so I could experience to the eco-friendly convenience first hand. The trip to Parajo Dunes was the perfect place to test out the different sizes and styles.
Bare by Solo plates and cups are made from recycleable and renewable resources, like corn instead of petroleum. They are microwave safe, and even better, they don't melt when they come into contact with moisture. I totally love them, especially because I hate doing dishes, but I'd had to give up my Costco paper plate habit when I crossed over to the "green side."
I'm so glad to have paper plates in my life again!
My favorites are the stylish square plates, which come in three sizes (I like to think of them as "cake", "grilled cheese with side of fries" and "steak plus two sides") and are made from renewable sugarcane. They're a nice color, and are equally perfect at a cookout or at a dressy party.
I also really liked the clear keg cups, which are made with 20% post consumer content, and are recycleable. Since that isn't super-super green, we cleverly re-used them all weekend. This was made easier by labeling the cups with our names, so no one would accidently sip a vodka on the rocks when they were expecting to taste a gin and 7 up.
My least favorite, even though they are way better from an eco-friendly perspective, are the Bare Natural compostable cups. I love that they are all happy for the earth, but I have to admit, they're very "hemp ghetto" brown. It's really hard to make a table pretty with cups the color of craft paper.
With the holidays coming up, I definitely have the "cake" size square plates on my party planning list. The clear cups are totally fun for punch, as long as you have a clearly marked RECYCLE HERE spot to make is easy for the revelers to clean up.
Thanks to Bare by Solo for including me on the Advisory Board, and for providing the Clever Girls with some respite from dishes on our vacation weekend.
Have you tried the line? Definitely share your experience and reaction in the comments below, and I'll include your feedback when I talk to the folks at Solo. Somehow, I think the "Red Cup" people are going to understand why I want those compostable cups in something besides oatmeal greige.