We are so forked. According to Mother Jones, We’re tossing out billions of utensils each year. They don’t just disappear: A recent study in the San Francisco Bay Area found that food and beverage packaging made up 67 percent of all litter on the streets. The United Nations estimates that the oceans contain more than 8 million tons of plastic.
Recently, I went to a birthday BBQ picnic celebration. Everyone brought something to share. I offered to bring the plates and utensils. Everyone expected plastic ware. I brought my plates, forks, and knives from my own kitchen. It was only a slight hassle because they are heavier than plastic ware and I had to wash them afterwards. A slight hassle yet totally worth it.
The school I work at had a back to school BBQ for all the staff members. Like the picnic, everyone brought something to share. I offered to bring the utensils. I thought, there is NO way I can enjoy this BBQ with a plastic fork. Go ahead, call me dramatic because it’s true… I know I am.
I couldn’t bring utensils from my own kitchen, I didn’t have enough. I did the next best thing. I bought a 200 pack of bamboo utensils off of Amazon. The leftovers were put in the break room.
The best part about the experience was the conversation it started. It planted a seed in the minds of people who maybe wouldn’t think twice about using single use plastic ware. Or maybe they do think twice about it but feel our options are limited. I heard someone say, “These will literally ROT in a landfill!” and, “Hey the food tastes better on this bamboo fork because it doesn’t come with a side of guilt!”
Plastic ware is used so often at events like my back to school BBQ because, plastic is easy and affordable. It’s almost as if there isn’t any other option… but there is. We have a choice and it’s not always the most convenient one. The bamboo utensils were not expensive ($8) and they were not difficult to get (Amazon Prime, am I right? We have the world at our finger tips)
“Waste not the smallest thing created, for grains of sand make mountains, and atomies infinity”
– E. Knight