Friday, April 23, 2010

Green Living by Janet Marchant: Green China and Green Silverware

I'm so excited! A friend of mine just sent me this photo of a fantastic new aid to green living: biodegradable utensils. As it says right on the box, these convenient knives, forks, and spoons are "Earth Friendly" and "Environmentally Responsible." I didn't know that there was anything that could be better than the green plastic forks I bought for my Earth Day Party, so I am blown away by this discovery!

Now, what doesn't come as a surprise is that this great new product is manufactured in one of the greenest places on the planet: China!

As my fans in China know, I'm often inspired by the wonderful things their country is doing to help save our planet. This time, I think the inspiration is flowing both ways, because China seems to have learned from our country's long tradition of finding all sorts of amazing uses for corn.

But here's a use we never thought of: turning corn starch into a kind of plastic that can be formed into biodegradable eating utensils! The Chinese are kindly sharing this ecological breakthrough with us by loading the earth-friendly forks and spoons onto majestic ocean freighters, selflessly burning countless gallons of their precious fossil fuels to bring them to our shores, and sending them to Wal-Mart and Costco mega-stores across the country so that we, too, can enjoy this clean, green, organic product.

Wow! If only there were something eco-friendly that we could send them in return, as a way of thanking them for making our lives a little greener. Maybe the best thing would be to ship them some of our corn, as a way of saying, "Keep up the creative corn processing, and send us more of those disposable forks."

It's hard for me to think of a more earth-friendly manufacturing material than corn. And remember, composting is good for the environment, so if you decide to hop on the corn-starch cutlery bandwagon, try to use at least one compostable fork or spoon at every meal. The more of them you use, the more there will be to compost! And that means more business for our clean, green, trading partner, China. It's a win-win!

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