Tag Archives: Compostable

No Leaf Left Behind: Palm Leaf Offers the Greenest Option in Disposable Tableware

Image result for areca tree leaves

Areca Tree

 For this week’s post, we are giving you a behind-the-scenes look at Bio & Chic’s Palm Leaf collection. A “fact sheet” on where the material comes from, how the products are made, and what makes using palm leaves such an incredibly unique and versatile option in tableware.

Where do the palm leaves come from and how are they collected?
From the fallen leaves of the Areca Palm tree (Areca Catechu). The leaves are collected after they dry and naturally fall to the ground. Because the huge leaves shed and fall naturally every few weeks (the leaves are never picked from the trees), the process does not require cutting or harming of any trees. When the old leaves fall, this leaves room for new leaves to grow.

How are the leaves turned into bowls and plates?
Only 2 things are required to make these products: fallen leaves and water. Once the leaves have been collected, they go through a thorough cleansing process to remove any clinging dirt. The clean leaves are then heat pressed and molded into our unique shapes and sizes. They are then trimmed to make nice and neat yet rustic designs, and then cleaned again to remove any dust produced in the cutting process. To reduce waste, each sheath is cut to make multiple bowls or plates.

How durable/safe are the palm leaf products?
Very. The plates and bowls are super light yet they retain their strength and durability until they are composted. Although we call them single-use, some of our customers tell us that they rinse and reuse. We do recommend however that especially in use with moist foods, the plates remain single use.

The products are 100% safe and non-toxic. They do not react with the food or add any additional taste to the food. Our products are made purely with leaves, and we do not use any glues, dyes, sealants, chemicals or strengthening materials.

Why do all of the products look different?
This is what makes the plates and bowls so special! Areca palm leaf sheaths have their own natural grain, leaf structure and characteristic texture (much like that seen in furniture grade wood), making every piece completely one-of-a-kind. All of the rich diverse colors of the original leaves remain in the final product.

Biodegradable and compostable, but are they recyclable?
The answer is no. While the products are completely biodegradable and compostable, they are not recyclable (a process that requires heat). Since they are made purely with leaves and water, they are ready to go back into the soil after use rather than be recycled. They will naturally be absorbed by the soil and will break down within 60 days, acting as organic manure. This makes palm leaf products the greenest disposable options available. Plus, composting uses 90% less energy than recycling.

                          Palm Leaf Oval Plate 7.5 inch - 210BBAEG19 Eco-FriendlySquare Palm Leaf Plate with Slanted Edges 10.6 in. - 210BBA2727 Eco-Friendlypalm-leaf-plate-dish-eco-friendly-biodegradable__15758.1406555081.1000.1200

Can they be used in the oven or microwave?

Yes, it’s safe to use them in the microwave on High for up to about 2 minutes. They can also be heated up to 350 °F/ 180°C in the oven for up to 45 minutes.

What about liquids?
Yes, these products are safe for both hot and cold liquids. There is no heat transference and they will maintain their shape with hot foods and liquids. The leaves are watertight and moisture cannot penetrate them so they will not get soggy like paper plates.

Can foods be stored in the freezer?
Yes, absolutely. The Palm Leaf plates and bowls are great for hot AND cold food, and can safely store food in the refrigerator as well as freezer.

What are some of the best uses for Bio & Chic’s Palm Leaf plates and bowls?
Because of the beautiful natural wood patterns and the durability of the tableware, we would recommend this collection for all types of events, both indoors and out. They can be dressed up (weddings) or dressed down for more casual events like cocktail parties and backyard BBQ’s. In addition to catered affairs, they are also an ideal and economical disposable solution for food service, hotels, fast food, foods-to-go, and food trucks.

Click here to see the full collection.

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Football Fans Reduce, Reuse and Recycle At Super Bowl XLIX

New England Patriots vs Seattle Seahawks — This Sunday, it is estimated that OVER 150 MILLION PEOPLE will be watching the Super Bowl on television, and about 70,000 to 100,000 people will be watching the game live at the University of Phoenix Stadium.

Every year the Super Bowl gets “greener” and “greener,” and this year in Phoenix they are taking their eco-efforts one step further by going beyond the confines of the football stadium. The city of Phoenix is using the Super Bowl to kick off the “Reduced Waste Challenge” — a city-wide effort to reduce waste that goes beyond just recylcing. This organic waste pilot program is a first for a Super Bowl, and if the program is a success, it may very well set a high bar for future Super Bowls and other big sporting events.

The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee and Super Bowl XLIX have partnered to create the Reduced Waste Challenge at Super Bowl Central — a 12-block area created for the event in the heart of downtown Phoenix. Vendors, business owners and attendees are all encouraged to not only use recyclable items, but also to reduce the availability of single-use food containers that are immediately thrown in the trash and offer reusable items such as cups and bottles.

Another big part of the Challenge is to compost food scraps — the goal being to divert 80% of waste from landfills. Though according to Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest, he is confident that they will surpass that number just as they did at the Zero Waste PGA Phoenix Open where they composted 89% of the waste generated.

Any way you slice it, no matter where you will be watching the game, Super Bowl Sunday is the second biggest food consumption day of the year (Thanksgiving is number one), and a day where most people put their diets aside. The average Super Bowl watcher consumes about 1,200 calories on snacks just while watching the game.

In addition to Super Bowl Sunday being the biggest day of the year for pizza delivery, here are some other foods people will be eating this Sunday – at least in some variation:
– 90 million pounds of chicken wings (or 1.23 billion wings)
– 4.3 million pounds of pretzels
– 11.2 million pounds of potato chips (that’s about 12,137,931 footballs worth of chips)
– 8.2 million pounds of tortilla chips with 71.4 pounds of guacamole
– 3.8 million pounds of popcorn
– 2.5 million pounds of nuts

 Disposable dinnerware is an easy solution for people throwing a Super Bowl party.  Instead of purchasing plates that will be thrown away and which will take a space at the landfill, go with dinnerware that is biodegradable and compostable.  Click here to see Bio & Chic’s assortment of compostable plates and utensils. And you can always send guests home with leftovers in Bio & Chic’s eco-friendly to-go containers.

 

 

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Easy Steps to Creating an Eco-Friendly Holiday Bar

 

cocktailEggnog, mulled wine, pomegranate punch…when planning your festive drink menu this holiday season, there are some quick and easy steps you can take to creating an eco-friendly bar.

Here’s a list to help you get you started:

Green Spirits: Many liquor companies are making efforts to add environmentally friendly practices to their production, from their choice of ingredients to using recycled materials and sustainable energy in their facilities. (Here’s a short list however there are many more choices!)

  • Bluecoat American Gin– no additives and uses all-natural, organic botanicals.
  • VeeV — made from Brazilian Rainforest Acai berries and other 100% natural ingredients. Made in LA at a distillery run with 100% renewable energy. This is a delicious mixer.
  • Blue Ice Organic American Wheat Vodka — handcrafted with USDA certified organic wheat & wheat neutral spirits.
  • Whistle Pig Straight Rye Whiskey– comes from Whistle Pig Farm in Vermont, a certified organic facility.
  • Organic Nation Vodka — distilled from organic rye, wheat, and corn, and it’s certified by an organization in Oregon that is dedicated to biologically sound and socially equitable agriculture.
  • 360 Vodka – green and sustainable vodka known for its innovative recycling program.
  • A few other certified organic vodkas include Orange V, Prairie, Tru Organic Vodka & Gin, and Charbay.

Check out this video on how to make a martini with organic vodka and organic apples:

Locally Brewed Beer & Organic Wine: Choose wines that are sustainable and organic. Serve locally brewed beers, plus there are also many organic and vegan choices available at craft beer stores. Wine in boxes and beer in kegs also reduce the amount of bottles to be recycled after an event.

Recycling: Create recycling bins for glass and plastic. If the bottles are just too nice to recycle, you can always reuse them for homemade mixers and simple syrups, or infusions. 360 Vodka bottles, for example, are designed with swing-top caps so that the bottles can be reused for other purposes like olive oil, vinegars, or water. And if you are recycling the bottles instead of reusing, the caps can be mailed back through their innovative Close the Loop program.

Festive Eco-Friendly Barware and Accessories: Instead of using things just once and throwing them away, choose accessories that are washable and reusable. If using disposables, choose ones that are compostable, made from bamboo, palm leaf, or  sugarcane.210BBTWIST9-bamboo-twisted-unique-skewer__67641.1406305780.490.490

Bar Towels – choose cotton instead of paper towels

Cocktail Napkins- linen instead of paper

Straws – colorful bee’s wax coated paper straws. Ours come in green, red, black, blue, and pink.

straws-blogpostOlive/Garnish Picks – stylish bamboo picks add a festive and fun touch to cocktails.

Coasters and Cutting Board – choose eco-friendly bamboo

Decorative Trays for Bar Displays and Serving – choose from bamboo, wood, palm leaf or sugarcane

Snack Bowls – mini disposable bowls made of bamboo or palm leaf for pretzels, peanuts, other bar snacks and drink garnishes.

Glassware: If you need extra glasses, you can shop garage sales or thrift stores for used barware, vintage shakers and old-fashioned glassware. Or try our new reusable Mini Doublewall Glasses in assorted sizes and shapes.

Local & Organic Ingredients for Mixers & Garnishes: choose organic locally grown fruits and garnishes. If you need lemon or lime juice, making it fresh not only tastes better, you can also compost the scraps.

Use Energy Efficient Appliances and LED Lighting: downsize to an energy efficient bar refrigerator that fits all of your mixers and fruits. Extra empty space in the fridge uses more energy so it’s more efficient to find a size that suits your needs. Check the seal on the refrigerator (if you put a dollar bill in the door, close it, and can slip the dollar out of the door, it’s time to replace the seal). Also, unplug appliances when you’re not using them.

Clean Green: Use “green” cleaning products for cleaning bar surface, glasses and bar tools.

Here’s a simple wintery holiday recipe for Mulled Spice Organic Simple Syrup from MGQ Bartending to put you in the holiday spirit —  just add rum, vodka or any other liquor to make a martini, or club soda for an alcohol free drink.

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 1 each orange and lemon peel
  • star anise
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 whole cloves

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer for about 15 minutes. Strain through a wire mesh strainer into a bowl and let sit until cooled to room temp. Store in a glass jar with tight fitting lid in the fridge. Try making a festive cocktail by combining with rum and lime soda!

 CHEERS!

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