The festive season, along with the wedding season, is back. Often, small parties, like for Diwali or Christmas, and small functions like haldi or engagements, are held at home. Usually, single use crockery and cutlery are used, apart from the packaged food, for these parties.
Even if the disposables are made of paper, or other biodegradable materials, a whole lot of resources go into producing them and disposing them, just for one-time use.
A twenty-person celebration at home using disposables means generating at least 20 of each of the small plates, large plates, bowls, glasses, spoons, forks, straws, tissues and the like. This should easily fill up one large dustbin, including the food waste. It also, most likely, won't be segregated and cleaned, and will definitely be dumped in landfills.
Landfills release greenhouse gases and leachates, making neighbouring areas highly polluted. They also take up a lot of space and turn into garbage mountains.
Reusable crockery and cutlery that is used at home on a daily basis should be used during these celebrations to reduce the waste produced. But, what if you don't have enough at home or don't want to use breakable ones, made of ceramic or glass, for the guests as there might be kids around?
ALTERNATIVE TO DISPOSABLES
Steel cutlery and crockery doesn't break easily, and best of all, it can be cleaned easily.
To encourage eco-friendly parties, individuals and shops are voluntarily starting crockery banks and lending the items for free. Just give them a call and check for availability as per your requirements. Get your hands on them, maybe give them a quick wipe and they are ready to use.
At the end of the party, make sure they are cleaned well and then return them to the owners. Sounds simple, right? Here’s where you can find such steel items in Goa.
Koshaa - Natural and Earth friendly store
Taking inspiration from his brother who lives sustainably in Pune and has started a crockery bank there, Siddesh Valvaikar started one at the end of 2019 at his home in Porvorim. He has 24 sets of glasses, spoons, large plates, pav bhaji plates, spoons and small bowls made of high quality steel.
This can work for about 30 to 35 people as the pav bhaji plates can be used for kids.
About 8 people borrowed them before the pandemic, and 5 since life has resumed to normal after.
The bank has now moved to his store – Koshaa in Porvorim – and is the only active one in Goa right now. The crockery can be picked up from there.
CONTACT: +91 9922721500
If borrowing from a crockery bank doesn't work out, there are many caterers in Goa, who rent out crockery and cutlery for a fee.
So, now you know how easy it is to borrow these party essentials so that you have sustainable celebrations at home. Then, are you ready to skip those paper plates and plastic glasses, go eco-friendly and leave less waste behind for future generations to deal with?
(Heena Shah is an avid traveller and covers topics such as sustainable travel and lifestyle. Got comments, suggestions? Contact: Explorer.firstname.lastname@example.org)