I am on a kick. I want to (once again) reduce our waste. We don't use paper towels, paper napkins, or paper plates when at home, ever. Not even for parties. But when it came to potlucks, or picnics, I was a 'when in Rome' kind of girl. About two months ago, that all changed.
I was going through my garage and found our camping stuff. I picked up this crate which I thought was empty except for a tarp in it. I dumped it out and there were all 5 of our camping plates! They were so light, I didn't even notice they were there. I thought, "Hey... I'll take these to the park with us tonight". The next time we went out, I took the plates again (they run right through the dishwasher when you get home). Then we were invited to a 4th of July party. I didn't even get funny looks when I ignored the Costco sized pack of paper plates on the table and handed my children our camping plates out of the basket I had packed with our potluck contribution. If anything, I got looks of encouragement.
I'm sold! The other day, when we went Garage saling I picked up camping bowls and cups to match our plates. I don't think I'll ever go back. You can find these plates anywhere.... REI has really nice ones, but I heard you can even get them at Walmart. They are not expensive, go into the dish washer, and last FOREVER! I have been using them for Logan's dishes since we got rid of plastic and they are the perfect thing to put dry cereal, trail mix, or grapes in for the toddler to tote around. My kids love them because they are easy to handle and have high sides (so baked beans or potato salad doesn't fall off of them like the paper plates) and they are super easy to rinse off with a hose if you go back for a second course (or pie. My children didn't enjoy pie with baked beans, funny enough.)
I am thinking of starting a collection of these plates as I find them in my thrifting adventures. These and the Welches jelly jar cups have become a staple in my house for little ones, and with another on the way... well, I better stock up!