Some restaurants in the Philippines serve food on banana leaves instead of plates–a clever idea if you ask me, presents great savings on water and dishwashing liquid. Leaves were the same thing that inspired Michael Dwork, during a stay in India where he saw women selling plates made from fallen leaves; that led him to start VerTerra Dinnerware. VerTerra’s plates are made from fallen leaves and water, are biodegradable and compostable. You can even use these for outdoor events and be confident that they can hold up even in the heat, and the best part is you can even use them in ovens and microwaves. The plates are meant to be used just once, but there are people who hand-wash and reuse them–and apparently, they’re still very serviceable.  Perhaps these gorgeous plates will make you take a second look at all the leaves you’re raking up, too.

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