About Me

Someone who fell in love with the natural world early on and has been smitten ever since. A blade of grass, a mighty mountain, a tiny raindrop, a roaring waterfall, all fill me with awe and wonder. Nature feels home, filled with warmth and love. It pains my heart to see this home being ravaged. This blog is an effort to find tweaks in modern living to preserve the sanctity of this home. I sincerely hope that you join me in this green karmic journey.

Tuesday 13 August 2019

The Steel Utensils Bank Initiative

What’s the idea behind Green Karma 360's Steel Utensils Bank Initiative?

This is an initiative to reduce the use of disposables at get-togethers.
You can borrow steel plates, cutlery and glasses from Green Karma 360 and stop disposable waste going into landfills.


For the love of health - ours and the planet's. Plastic and paper utensils leach harmful chemicals in our food. After being trashed, these disposables take up valuable landfill space or litter our land and oceans. 

You can read more on the 'Why" in my blog post: 

What can be borrowed?

Currently, there are 20 steel sectional plates, 20 spoons, and 20 glasses. I plan to keep building on the inventory.

How does it work?
  •  Write to greenkarma360@gmail.com to check availability.
  •    Make a nominal refundable deposit and pick up the utensils.
  •  After use, clean the utensils. They are dishwasher safe.
  •   Return clean and undamaged utensils and get your deposit fully refunded.

How long can I borrow the utensils for?

You can keep them for maximum 3 days. Pick them a day in advance. Return the next day of the event. If the demand is high, expect a 2-day cycle.

What is the rental fee?

There is NO rental fee. However, a refundable deposit is charged which is returned when the dishes are returned. Also, if you want to give a token donation, that is welcome and would be used to buy more plates and cutlery. 

What if I lose or damage an item?

The replacement cost for each lost piece is as follows:
  • Sectional plate - $10
  • Glass - $2
  • Spoon - $1 

Why should I use steel utensils?

There are many excellent reasons. Take your pick:
  •   If you enjoy NATURE and it pains you to see it being destroyed: Be a part of the solution and not the problem.
  •   If you worry about your HEALTH and the health of your guests: Serving hot food in Styrofoam, plastic or paper dishes leaches harmful chemicals in your food. Why risk?
  •    If you like to eat ORGANIC: Remember, what goes around, comes around. If you keep polluting soil, water, and air with the garbage you generate, the toxicity comes right back to you through the very same elements. Nature doesn’t work in isolation. Also, if you're being so careful to eat organic, it beats me why would you infuse your food with a cocktail of toxic chemicals!
  •   If you have KIDS and you want to ensure a good future for them: Natural calamities will increase in frequency and intensity. Along with good education and health, you should think about giving your kids a sound environmental education. Kids learn by watching. You would be raising environmentally–conscious kids by your positive actions. 
  •   Do you VOLUNTEER ? Yes? Great! Consider this as volunteering for another cause. 
     No? Great! This is an opportunity for you to start.
  •  If you’re SPIRITUAL: You feel the oneness or interconnectedness of all beings and therefore like to care for the whole system. If you don't want the garbage from disposables in your own backyard, trust me, nobody else does. 
  •   If you’re savvy with ECONOMICS : You would know that a dollar saved is a dollar earned. Why make money go down a trash bag by using disposables if you can help it? 
  • If you like to TRAVEL but hate to see the litter: It breaks my heart to see beaches littered with washed up waste. There is hardly a place in the whole wide world which is unaffected by the litter we produce. If we want to keep the earth beautiful, we have to work towards it and not produce waste wherever we can help it. 
I use bagasse plates. Why should I bother?

Bagasse plates go to landfill and they don't get degraded aerobically. What does it mean? 

It means that oxygen is required for anything to break down. This is called aerobic degradation. In landfills, there is a very limited amount of oxygen. When anything degrades without or very less oxygen, that is called anaerobic degradation. Anaerobic degradation produces methane, which is a greenhouse gas and is 22 times more powerful than carbon-di-oxide in creating a greenhouse effect. 

Did you know that even fruit and vegetable peels, which are naturally 100 percent biodegradable, don't get degraded in landfills? In an interesting find, a newspaper was taken out of a landfill after 40 years. It was still intact and readable! So unless you are composting the bagasse plates, they just end up in landfills, where they don't degrade well.

At the end of the day, 'Reduce' is the holiest R of them all!

I use paper plates. Why should I bother?

Paper plates are generally coated with a thin plastic or waterproof coating to make them hold soggy food. Such coated plates cannot be composted. On top of that, they leach harmful chemicals in food. Paper plates don't get recycled either. The only place they end up is in a landfill. And you all now know ahat happens in a landfill....

Remember the Amazon fires? The more paper you use, the more fires you're helping ignite.

It's just one party. Why should I bother?

With an event at almost every weekend, you're being exposed to harmful chemicals ever so often. It all builds up. Studies show that we consume approximately a credit card's worth of plastic every week!

Think of all the trash bags that get thrown away at the end of each party and think that you won't be a part of that.

I have more than 20 guests. Why should I bother?

Every bit counts. You can add your own reusable plates to the ones you borrow from Green Karma 360. You can borrow from friends too. If I’ve been able to save 1000 plus plates from being landfilled with this collection, so can you. If you haven't already done so, you can read my experiences at:

Aren’t you using water in cleaning reusable plates? I’m saving water by using disposable plates.

Haha! This is such a huge fallacy and takes a myopic view of the situation. It gets forgotten that much more water and energy is used at each stage of manufacturing and transporting disposables. And then they get thrown after a single use!!

Trees --> Paper Pulp -->Paper -->Plates--> Landfill

Apart from resources (raw material, energy, and water) used in manufacturing disposable plates, energy is also used in transporting waste to a landfill. The environmental cost of waste in landfills or oceans is so high, we simply can’t afford to pay it anymore. 

In case of reusables, once the product has been manufactured, energy is spent only on maintenance. 

Tips for Hosts

Congratulations on making the start. You should really be proud of yourself!

Now get ready with logistics to handle the used plates. These tips will come in handy for smooth sailing:
  •    Request a friend to be your green buddy. Ask her/ him to give a heads-up to guests about the reusable plates and to help the host by complying with directions.
  •   Make or print A4 size paper with directions - station for soiled plates, cutlery and glasses. Place tubs with clearly marked labels for each category.
  • Place a marked trash can/ garbage bag nearby for leftover food. 
  •   Let your green buddy direct guests on how and where to put the used plates. She can Whatsapp the directions a day in advance too. 
  •   Gently guide guests to remove leftover food from plates and stack the plates, glasses, and spoons in their respective piles. Handhold the first couple of guests and the rest will follow suit.
  •    If the party is at home, the plates can be stacked in the sink or a pre-assigned spot. Post a sign near the sink with directions to rinse the plates and load them in dishwasher. 
  •  If the party is outdoors, carry back the used utensils in garbage bags or containers.
Tips for Guests

Appreciate the host for greening the get-together. Do your bit to make things easier for the host.
  • Do not leave your used dishes at the table for others to clear.
  • If you're not sure, ask the host about the station for used dishes.
  • Remove all food residue from your plate. Stack the plate at the right station. Ditto for glass and cutlery.
  • If the party is at home and you have access to the sink, rinse your plate lightly before stacking.
  • Ask the host if you can help stack your rinsed plate in the dishwasher.
  • Be respectful of the host and follow the given cues.

Still have Questions?


  1. I read your text. Then I thought about my way of life. As a single household, I throw away food, especially fruit and vegetables. The idea to put a slip of paper in a jar, on which I write down what I threw away and why, I will put into practice. I‘ll look in the fridge before I go shopping. I noticed that there are also single oranges or pears to buy in the supermarkets. Sometimes 2 or 3 pieces are enough. They are not packed in plastic. At Edeka there are also paper bags. I gladly accept this offer.
    Nevertheless, the yellow sack in which we dispose of the plastic waste is full. I can't say that I reduce plastic waste at this moment. We talked about it in our family. My brother said that he now has much less plastic waste since they pay attention to it when shopping. I think what you're doing is brave. Contacting the companies and asking them to stop using plastic. Helping people avoid disposable items at parties.
    At the Christmas market I was asked if I would eat here. On my YES, I received my food in a ceramic bowl. I was surprised and happy about it. I returned the bowl later. There was no garbage. At other Christmas stalls, paper plates coated on the top were used, which ended up in the trash. I wondered if this was really necessary … and I found the same ones in my closet! In summer, I sometimes meet up with family or friends at the lake to eat together on the beach. That's why I bought them. From now on I'll take plates with me.
    I think it's important to get impulses. That way you start to think about your own way of life and to change something. Thank you for your commitment. Thanks for your inspiring website and the professional design. Thanks for your information and tips !

  2. Thank you for your views! It makes me so glad to know that someone, somewhere, is getting influenced by my blog:)
    We all need to think and do more. Only when we bring these topics in mainstream conversations, do we think of ways to change our behavior. It's not hard! We just need to get into the habit. Thanks so much again for encouraging me!

  3. Loved these stainless steel plates which are not only environmentally friendly but also friendly to human health.A great initiative to reduce carbon foot print and also reduce trash as much as possible. Reduce reuse recycle. Zero waste . Let’s unite to save the environment.

  4. Loved these stainless steel plates which are not only environmentally friendly but also friendly to human health.A great initiative to reduce carbon foot print and also reduce trash as much as possible. Let’s unite to save the environment.

  5. Thanks Anubhooti for the steel utensils. Guests loved it. It was a great feeling that I did my part in saving the earth by reducing the landfill