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Dinnerware From Fallen Leaves

VerTerra_3 The Green Dilemma: You've got company coming and you don't have enough dishes to serve the crowd (not to mention the no-fun task of washing up afterwards). What's the green host to do? Wow your guests with dinnerware made from fallen leaves by VerTerra. I saw these first used at a huge meeting at Whole Foods Market headquarters. I simply couldn't believe these beautiful bowls and plates were made from fallen leaves, a "waste product," and were fully compostable. I had a hard time putting them in the compost bin! VerTerra was founded on the belief that it's possible to combine high design with the highest standards of environmental responsibility. Using only fallen palm leaves and water to create this line of certified compostable single-use dinnerware, they've accomplished just that. It all starts on farms of palm trees grown for food and medicinal purposes. The leaves shed year-round and are one of the Earth's largest natural waste products. Seen as a hindrance to the nourishment of their trees, the farmers remove the leaves, pour gasoline on them and burn them. That's where VerTerra comes in. The fallen leaves are collected, cleaned and pressed into a beautiful renewable plate, bowl or tray. The entire steam, heat and pressure process uses just 10% of the energy that standard recycled paper plates require, and over 80% of the water is recaptured and reused. No leaves are ever thrown away in the production process, either. Scraps are powdered down to usable fertilizer and returned to the farmers who supply the leaves. VerTerra_2 So that's it. No trees are harvested or cut. No glues or dyes. Just leaves and water. VerTerra truly is an authentic eco-friendly line. And if the environmental benefits aren't enough to convince you, VerTerra boasts unmatched durability and versatility - use the plates for microwave reheat or short bakes in the oven! Here are a few other specifics from VerTerra you may find enticing:
  • Low carbon footprint. Ships do use energy, but they are a surprisingly efficient means of transportation, especially since our products pack flat. In fact, the energy for us to ship a container from India to our warehouse is equal to a truck driving round trip from New York to Boston.
  • VerTerra is free from chemicals, glues, lacquers, bonding agents, bleaches, dyes, plastics, etc. Nothing to leach into foods.
  • "Since our products are made from leaves, they're compostable and will naturally return to the earth in two months. This process uses 90% less energy than recycling.
  • Produced in India (where the leaves are). VerTerra owns the factory, where all of our workers receive fair wages in safe working conditions and are provided access to medical care.
Have you tried these fallen leaves plates and bowls yet? Let us know what you think about them and what your guests had to say!

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26 comments

Comments

paig292 says …

Just heard back from VerTerra and they are currently in about half of our stores and are currently rolling out their dinnerware to almost all of our other stores. I appreciate your question so we could clarify! Keep an eye out for them!

Laura Fairfield says …

What a great idea! Environmentally sound and beautiful.

says …

We do carry them in our stores. We've just emailed Verterra to see if they can update their store finder with our info. Thanks for catching that for us.

says …

You can find information about pricing and where to buy these lovely dishes at: http://www.verterra.com/

Paul Smith says …

It's great to see a favorite plate of mine getting attention (ans such a thorough review!) by Whole Foods. Yes I've used them many times, and it's always interesting, the conversations that come up. Since they look a bit like bamboo, but are just unfamiliar enough to generate questions, it's always fun for me to tell them the story as I know it, and that they're reusable several times with gentle washing. They're, in a way, a "gateway" green product, as they do a great job for their function, and even green cynics seem to like them.

Robin Feltner says …

These are beautiful! Love the Green concept. Team Earth!

screwdestiny says …

Those are beautiful! Thanks so much for telling us about these. I'll definitely be getting them next time I need some one-time-use dinnerware.

Kristina says …

I checked www.verterra.com for where to buy, and they don't list any of the Whole Foods stores in my area as options.... does Whole Foods not sell them at all their stores?

debi says …

That sounds like a great product. How much do they cost?

Nuri Leigh Burville says …

Super idea! My friends and I ask, why aren't companies in USA making these things right here in Florida or Calif or Arizona? We want to buy local. We want to buy local! We want to buy local! !

Sarah says …

I absolutely love this idea. I entertain often and do find that I have to borrow plates and bowls from the neighbours. Fantastic chic designs rather than the bog standard plastic and paper plates. I must buy some!

Lorraine says …

Are these dishes still available? Most of the posts are from January 2010. I am having 20 people for an early Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 13th.

paig292 says …

@Lorraine Your best bet is to check with your local store to see if they have these. http://wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/

Sheree Judd says …

Can you tell me what the price of these plates and salad bowls are? My daughter desperately wants to use them for her wedding. How are they packaged and can I get about 100 of each. Thank you. Sheree Judd

Bepkom says …

@Sheree, Your best bet is to check with your local store to see if they have these. http://wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/ Thanks!

mw3 says …

hi there, looks like some great discussion going on here

Shirley Hutchison says …

VerTerra's site says most of the Whole Foods stores in the Seattle area carry their products. Checked with two of the stores tonight - neither has the product, nor knows about it. Is it worthwhile to keep calling - there are several other Whole Foods stores in the area, but increased driving distance...?

says …

@Shirley It may be worth your while to continue calling the stores in the area. The product offering does differ from store to store, even with stores that are in geographic proximity sometimes. You can also send emails to their contact listings if you'd rather do that than call. The link below will help you identify the contact (email) for the stores which you'd want to reach out. Happy hunting. :) http://wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/

Corbin W says …

@ Sathvik...it looks like the local press has picked up on the plight of your factory. Although this product may be environmentally friendly, it comes at a high cost for workers at your factory in terms of wages and injuries. I guess green products come at a higher price than I thought. http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/article2725389.ece

Patel says …

Yes, it is 100% eco friendly , biodegradable & excellent for useage . But we don't think what Verterra is giving fare wages! Would you think 60 dollars per month is a fair wages? We know that they are doing right product in wrong methods .They are supplying bioplates to abroad at the cost of employees loss of hands " Do you believe it or not every month at least one or two women's sacrificing their fingers & hands for that they are getting very very poor medical treatment & compensation " For example last 3rd of this month one employe called Laxmamma lost her palm .

Sathvik says …

Yes, it is 100% eco friendly , biodegradable & excellent for useage . But we don't think what Verterra is giving fare wages! Would you think 60 dollars per month is a fair wages? We know that they are doing right product in wrong methods .They are supplying bioplates to abroad at the cost of employees loss of hands " Do you believe it or not every month at least one or two women's sacrificing their fingers & hands for that they are getting very very poor medical treatment & compensation " For example last 3rd of this month one employe called Laxmamma lost her palm .

Manish Patel says …

Verterra company not a honest company. He lied to his partner who happened to leave Verterra and move on to manufacture his own plates.

veronica says …

I was wondering if these are sold at Whole Foods and if there are a wide selection of sizes and types of plates?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@VERONICA - The products in our stores vary so I would suggest that you reach out to your local store directly to see what sizes and options they have in stock. You can find a list of our stores' contact info at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/list.

Joe & Janet says …

As much i like Verterra product, i love the Leafware products even more. I have used both many times and Leafware continues to impress me. For some reason, the Leafware plates always allot more study and rock solid. It seems they use and/or have the best leafs. The palm leaf product is really great. I would not believe it if some one would've told me these were made of fallen leafs. I have tired few other brands of palm dinnerware as well. However, I must tell you the Leafware items are more rock solid and better quality than others on the market. I used it for big wedding party few weeks ago and people just could not believe how beautiful these are and were made of leafs. I highly recommended Leafware brand over others. Thumps up from Joe & Janet, this stuff is great..

Corduval says …

If not composted with their own fallen leaves, what are those farmers nourishing their trees with?