Reader Question: Hey Sara! I've read your blog for a little while now and instead of renting dishes (which is so not in our budget), I found a resource for biodegradable plates made out of sugarcane (I didn't want to use corn products. We use waaaay too much corn!). Here's my problem: My town/city is SO behind on the green movement. The closest recycling center is about 40 miles away and they don't do neighborhood pickup. So, my partner and I made the decision to get biodegradable plates. So...what do we do with them after? Hopefully, our families will put them in the designated bins to begin with, but how do we dispose of these plates? We don't have our own yard to compost in, so I'm at a loss at what to do with this earth friendly plates, despite the fact I've been googling for hours!
I hear you. Ugh!
Matt and I faced the same dilemma for a couple of days. Fortunately, the innkeepers of the B&B where we were having the reception volunteered to take it upon themselves to solve the problem for us. Phew! (What a testament to finding a wedding venue with an amazing staff!). They located a facility that would compost our table ware, set up the bins, and took care of transporting everything.
If I were in your place, here are some strategies I would try:
- Recruit an eco-conscious friend to help you tackle this problem. Perhaps that friend would be willing to drive everything to the nearest facility (assuming the carbon footprint associated with driving 80 miles is worth it...). You have a lot on your plate right now (pun intended); see if you can find a passionate soul to help you!
- Put an add on craigslist or other neighborhood websites to see if you can find someone who has any useful information. You might be able to find someone who has a giant backyard composting facility or who has some other ideas. It's worth a shot!
- I hate to say it, but if none of your strategies pan out, I would suggest you just throw the stuff away. Every decision we make lies at the intersection of several different values. On the one hand, you care about the environment (hooray!). On the other hand, you probably care about your sanity. I say put your best effort forward to solve the problem, and then let it go. At the very least, your money is going toward products that are more eco-friendly. Your purchase helped create more demand for such products. At least it's a step in the right direction.