Did you know that 85% of consumers are looking to buy more sustainable products? If you’re one of them you might be wondering where you can make some changes in your own home.
Look no further than your silverware drawer. By moving away from plastic or other non-renewable flatware you can have a huge impact on the environment. You just need to find the right material for your lifestyle. One of our favorites is – wait for it – bamboo!
Bamboo is more sustainable than other flatware options because it’s a renewable resource and is biodegradable. It can be reusable or disposable making it the most flexible flatware option around.
Bamboo Flatware Compared to Other Reusable Options
You may have already tried to reuse your plastic or swap single-use items for metal. Maybe you’ve started to buy compostable flatware hoping it has less of an impact on the environment. While these are all good steps to take, bamboo flatware is an eco-friendly solution that you can use every day.
Bamboo vs Metal Flatware
There’s a reason most people seem to say “silverware” instead of “flatware.” Stainless steel and aluminum have become the expected material of most flatware. It’s extremely durable, reusable, dishwasher safe, and goes with any decor. It’s also much better for the environment than plastic.
The downside of metal flatware is in the production process. It’s made from nonrenewable resources and may include the use of toxic chemicals. Also, have you ever put a stainless steel spoon in your kid's lunch? Might as well say goodbye because it’s unlikely that spoon will find its way back home.
Bamboo flatware gives maximum flexibility because it’s very durable and can be reused. It’s a natural material and fully biodegradable. If your forgetful little sweetie always throws his spoon away at the end of lunch, you can rest easy knowing it’s breaking down and returning to the earth.
Bamboo vs Plastic Flatware
Plastic flatware is by far the most widely used disposable flatware on the market. It’s cheap, comes in hundreds of colors, and is easy to carry with your lunch. Because it's so inexpensive, plastic flatware is almost always tossed out after one use.
Unfortunately, single-use plastic utensils are one of the top 10 most common items found on beaches. It can take literal centuries for plastic forks, knives, or spoons to break down. Not only that, but the creation of plastic flatware is extremely toxic. Plastic is petroleum-based so harmful gas and waste are created during production.
Bamboo flatware is much stronger than plastic which may break as you cut into your delicious dinner. It’s also very heat-resistant so it won’t melt in a hot cup of coffee or a fresh bowl of soup.
Switching to bamboo flatware gives you the same flexibility of reusing or discarding. Bamboo is compostable so you don’t have to feel so guilty if you need to toss it out. Bamboo is much more environmentally friendly because it's natural and doesn't need chemicals to produce.
Bamboo vs Other Compostable Flatware
You’ve probably seen compostable flatware items at the store and may have even made the switch like the environmental hero you are. You’re still a hero in our eyes, friend, but be careful when choosing these supposedly eco-friendly products.
While there are CPLA compostable flatware sets on the market, the vast majority are made from seemingly renewable materials like corn. The problem is both of these items are still heavily processed and use chemicals in production. They also can’t be composted in any compost bin, but need to be handled by a commercial facility. So you may be thinking it’s no big deal to toss these in the bin, but they’ll take several years to decompose.
Bamboo flatware typically doesn’t need chemicals to be created and will break down in a backyard compost pile in just a few months.
What to Consider When Buying Bamboo Flatware
When switching to bamboo flatware, are you hoping to reuse your items or are you trying to replace single-use plastic? Most bamboo knives, forks, knives, and spoons can be reused, but there are also great disposable options when washing is a challenge.
Look for sets that contain the number of bamboo forks, knives, and spoons you need. You'll want more if you need eco-friendly restaurant supplies or maybe just a few to pack in your lunch for the day.
You’ll want to look for sets that are 100% bamboo (some sets are actually made from other types of wood) or a combination of bamboo and stainless steel. Sizes are pretty standard, but consider if you need it for travel, adult party guests, or your kid’s lunchbox when making your choice.
Our Picks for the Best Bamboo Flatware
Best Bamboo Flatware for Everyday Use
My favorite bamboo flatware is this cutlery set from Seek Bamboo. Not only does it come with the standard fork, knife, and spoon, but you’ll also receive a set of chopsticks and a straw with a cleaning brush. It may seem like a lot to carry so you’ll love the travel case to keep it all organized and ready for on-the-go meals.
Seek Bamboo makes 100% eco-friendly utensils with zero chemicals. These non-toxic sets are durable, lightweight, and extremely temperature resistant. They are reusable, but if you use them so much you wear them out, you can compost them and they’ll disappear in as little as three months.
Best Bamboo Flatware for Kids
If you’re a parent or have future world changers in your life, you’ll want to grab this Bamboo Lunch Set from My Little Panda. Little hands will have everything they need with a bamboo knife, fork, spoon, straw, and chopsticks. Each set comes with a straw-clearing brush made from the sisal plant.
The included hemp bag comes in a variety of colors so there’s never any fighting over which set belongs to who. The adorable panda makes it super giftable for any occasion so you can stock up on several for holidays and birthdays.
Best Disposable Bamboo Flatware
I’m all about reusable products, but there are times when you just can’t wash your dishes. You might not have access to a sink on a cross-country road trip or your kid’s field trip to the zoo might call for a disposable lunch. It’s best to have a pack of this disposable bamboo flatware on hand so you don’t have to reach for plastic.
Each set includes 8 bamboo forks, spoons, and knives, but if you need more, you can also order in bulk. Each bamboo utensil can be hand washed if you choose to reuse them, otherwise, it’ll decompose within 4-6 months.
Best Bamboo Flatware for Events
If you’re planning a party and want to make it more sustainable, look no further than this disposable bamboo cutlery set from My Little Panda. Each pack of 30 comes with 10 bamboo spoons, 10 bamboo forks, and 10 bamboo knives wrapped in a reusable, eco-friendly bag.
Make your event extra special by having names, dates, or special sayings engraved on each item. This bamboo flatware set is reusable and dishwasher safe so it’s also perfect for stocking your kitchen. Keep it accessible for everyday use with a bamboo drawer organizer.
Best Stainless Steel Bamboo Flatware
I adore the Royal Bamboo Flatware Set from Scope Kitchen. This timeless set makes an average dinner feel like a fancy garden party. The 100% bamboo handles are a perfect complement to the 18/10 stainless steel. They have a vintage look and include a teaspoon for all six place settings making your table feel very high-end.
Best Bamboo Flatware for Small Businesses
If you run a cafe or restaurant you’ll love the wrapped bamboo cutlery set from Eco Choice. Each flatware set comes with a fork, knife, spoon, and napkin wrapped in a compostable bag so your customers will have everything they need. No more rolling the metal flatware in napkins at every shift or having customers grab 80 billion napkins “just in case” they spill
To ensure nothing goes to waste, you can also choose single items like the 100-pack of bamboo spoons, forks, or knives. They’re sturdy enough for a high-end restaurant but disposable enough to hand out at your food truck. Each item is lightweight, compostable, and sure to delight your eco-friendly customers.
How to Care for Bamboo Flatware
Most bamboo flatware items are dishwasher safe, but it’s usually best to wash them by hand and let them air dry. This will help them last even longer. If you do choose to toss them in the dishwasher, turn off your heated dry setting to avoid cracking.
Between uses, you can oil your bamboo forks, knives, and spoons with food-grade mineral oil like Royal Craft Wood's food-grade mineral oil. This will keep the bamboo from drying out so you can enjoy your items for years to come.
Bamboo Is the First Step to an Eco-Friendly Kitchen
Bamboo is a great place to start for an eco-friendly kitchen. It’s all-natural and free of toxins which is essential when cooking and serving healthy meals for your family. Whether you start with bamboo utensils and flatware or want to overhaul your kitchen, you’ll be taking the right steps to a healthier home and planet.