Reusable dishware the most sustainable option

At HideAway Haven our Environmental Ethos is “to continually reduce our environmental impact and carbon footprint”.  As luxury accommodation providers in Albany, HideAway Haven is in a unique position to influence guests on energy efficiency and water use. By taking our own action to improve efficiency in these areas, we are demonstrating our commitment to sustainability by reducing our impact on the environment.

During our stays in various hotels in the USA we were shocked to see that everything in the dining room was disposable – paper plates, Styrofoam bowls, plastic-lined cups, plastic cutlery (that was wrapped in more plastic). Even the cups for measuring out waffle batter were disposable; whatever happened to old-fashioned serving spoons?

There are no recycling or compost bins and we watched in horror as everyone just shoveled all their trash into one bin.  This shocked us, coming from a place where recycling happens in most places and where it is a priority at HideAway Haven. If these hotels actually cared about being more environmentally friendly, it would do away with disposables and replace with reusable equipment. I realise the  places we stayed at were were not five star hotels, but that’s no excuse for environmental profligacy.

Just because disposables are made from renewable materials doesn’t make them any less wasteful; in fact, people become even more complacent about using disposables when these items are greenwashed into looking like an eco-friendly option. 

Switching to reusables would mean having to hire someone to wash dishes, but I doubt the hotel management would have trouble covering that cost, especially if they no longer had to buy a plate, bowl, juice cup, coffee cup, fork, knife, and spoon for every guest, every day of their stay. Considering that we pay a generous amount of money to stay in the hotel, it's more about priorities than money.

Providing reusable crockery and cutlery at breakfast would have made our stay more pleasant. Nothing cheapens a meal quite so much as using disposable plates and cutlery to eat breakfast or enjoy a good cup of coffee. It renders the fancy dining room décor unnecessary, as the dining experience has rapidly degraded from ‘I’m dinng out at breakfast’ to ‘Oh, I guess I’m roughing it on a picnic.’

Disposable, or “throw-away,” items are not a good environmental option. This is because a lot of energy and resources go into making and transporting these one-time use products.

Even if disposables could be recycled or composted, the majority of their environmental impact occurs “upstream” – in manufacturing and transportation - before they’re even used.

 Demand for paper products is depleting the world’s forests faster than they can renew, reducing an important resource for sequestering carbon from the atmosphere and protecting our natural environment.  Most paper products are made with bleaching agents that include powerful carcinogens such as dioxins that pollute water and soil.

Bagasse products are produced from sugarcane, a renewable resource, are made from a secondary waste product of making sugar and therefore do not impact food supply.  Bagasse products are made with less energy and water than their paper counterparts  If Bagasse products break down in the landfill, they do so without oxygen, and they release methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming  

Unless the product is made from 100% recycled content, the new plastic content is still made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource. Extracting petroleum emits greenhouse gases that cause climate change and can pollute waters. Some plastics contain known carcinogens and can leach hormone mimicking chemicals into our bodies.

At HideAway Haven our goal is the reduction of greenhouse gasses and making a difference. We prefer to serve our food on china/ceramic and use metal utensils rather than plastic or paper as it imparts a sense of superior quality, is a much healthier option and is kinder to our precious environment. 

At HideAway Haven we use Ecology.  The Ecology philosophy is to reduce the environmental impact of the products and packaging where ever we can in our everyday life while maintaining our lifestyle and desire for beautiful designs, shapes and colours.

Designed and developed in Australia Ecology has table top products in glassware, porcelain, recycled Stainless steel and wood products.  Ecology provides consumers with a friendly alternative and breathtaking designs.


Table setting at HideAway Haven