First of all, let's just say that we're definitely not preaching about this topic because we're having a tough time with this one.
Our family gatherings are far from a formal affair. Couple that with the fact that everything's bigger in Texas and you end up with an overload of food, dishes, pots, pans etc. So our first instinct has always been to reduce the cleanup effort by using disposable serving ware and tableware.
Well we think differently now and this plan no longer sits well with us. The amount of garbage we used to create for one dinner makes us cringe now. So what's a more realistic plan? We don't have all the answers but here are a few obvious tips that we had to remember:
1) Don't be afraid of your dishwasher. If you have one, use it. Don't get the 100 pack of disposable plates so you won't have to pack the dishwasher. If you don't think you can completely eliminate the disposables, try cutting back gradually. How about real plates for dinner and small single-use plates for dessert?
2) Explore options for single-use tableware. How about using pressed leaf or bamboo plates for dessert?
3) Setup a couple recycling "stations" and make sure your guests don't put recyclable drink containers in the trash.
4) Encourage guest to bring their own container for leftovers. No it's not tacky. It's mostly family and friends right? Right. So they can put leftovers in their reusable containers instead of expecting you will have Ziploc bags and plastic throw-away containers.
Have a great Thanksgiving!