eco swap: cutlery

After metal straws, bamboo cutlery might be the most popular zero waste swap out there. I always tried my best to avoid getting plastic utensils when ordering takeout or eating out, but sometimes it's unavoidable. Most utensils found in coffee shops, supermarkets and restaurants are made of #6 plastic, which are accepted at many curbside recycling programs. However, many programs don't accept it, as it is not cost effective to process for recycling.

You can reduce your consumption of disposables by reusing them a few more times before tossing them or avoiding them altogether by bringing your own cutlery with you. At the early stages of my low waste journey I decided to buy two sets of bamboo cutlery, one for myself and another one for my husband. The first setback was I constantly forgot to bring them with me and then ended up having to use disposables. After a few times of doing that, I decided to keep them in my purse at all times.

After using bamboo cutlery for a while I noticed they were a bit annoying to wash, as the grooves are very close together and food tends to get stuck. If I could go back in time I would not have bothered buying them, as I could have just used the cutlery I already owned. In this case, the saying "the most environmental thing to do is use what you already have", could not have been more correct. Nowadays before I buy any new low waste item, I try to see if I could use something I already have instead.