Eating sustainably has never been easier – or more stylish. Designers are getting incredibly creative with materials and functionality, giving us cups with interchangeable handles for various uses, beer bottles transformed into drinking glasses, and even edible utensils. Here are 12 examples of clever, earth-friendly tableware designs.
Branching out – utensils with twig handles
(image via: Anafim)
This set of Anafim outdoor cutlery allows you to choose a twig, insert it into the end of your knife, spoon or fork and change it out as desired. It cuts back on the amount of plastic used and gives you a little creative control over the design. Sustainable, organic and certainly unique.
Cups with interchangeable handles & stems
(images via: Victoria E)
Don’t have room for a full set of mugs, wine glasses and water goblets? This ingenious design by INV/ALT allows you to attach snap-on handles and recycled wine glass stems to cute little colored cups. You could even connect all of the cups to create an art display when they’re not in use. Modern, stylish and useful without a doubt.
Edible tableware made of biscuit dough
(image via: Dezeen)
Disposable tableware isn’t generally very eco-friendly – and though biodegradable and compostable options are a step in the right direction, isn’t there something better? What if you could just make them… disappear? Japanese designer Nobuhiko Arika created these edible chopsticks, bowls and plates from ‘hardtack’, a biscuit dough made of flour, salt and water that has traditionally been used as dry emergency rations at sea. They may not taste fantastic, but they’re certainly green.
DIY edible bread spoons
(image via: Tim Simpson)
Continuing the trend of edible tableware, this pastry cutter and baking tray by Tim Simpson allows you to create your own DIY ‘bread spoons’, which can be used as a utensil and then eaten when you’re done. Nothing to wash, and nothing to throw away.
Crinkled porcelain ‘plastic’ cups
(image via: Clio Home)
Anyone longing for their college bachelor frat party days will appreciate the design of these cups, which look like crumpled beer cups on their way to the trash can but are actually made of ceramic. You won’t get the satisfaction of crushing the cup yourself, but they’re definitely
Paper clay porcelain plates
(image via: Show Lifestyle)
Like the crinkled cups, these porcelain plates have a whimsical feel and look just like the paper plates they’re molded from. Even better, those paper plates weren’t thrown away – they were actually shredded and made into ‘paper clay’ to form these reusable porcelain versions. Turning something disposable into something reusable – and so pretty – is the ultimate in upcycling.
Transglass carafes and cups made of beer bottles
(image via: re:modern)
Looking at the photo, would you guess that these sleek, modern vases, jugs, carafes and cups were once beer and wine bottles? Designed by Tord Boontje, this collection of recycled serving vessels reuses old bottles but avoids that schmaltzy faux Italian kitchen look. They come in a variety of soothing green hues and either a satin or polished finish.
Is it a spoon? Is it a fork?
(images via: ubaBaby, REI, DarkRoastedBlend)
Ah, the almighty spork. When made from durable, reusable materials, it’s the ultimate eco-friendly utensil: dual purpose and small enough to carry around. It can be found in bamboo, recycled plastic and titanium versions and in either the traditional spoon-with-tiny-fork-tines style or with a spoon on one end and a fork on the other – and then there are versions like the third, pictured above, which are interesting looking but perhaps not as useful.
Porcelain take-out containers
(image via: Curiosity Shoppe)
Designer Lorena Barrezueta takes ordinary disposable aluminum takeout containers and turns them into colorful, beautiful, long-lasting pieces that are far from ordinary. These hand-made dishes come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors.
Not a paper cup, but sure looks like it
(image via: Delight.com)
Maybe you don’t want to advertise your eco-friendly ways, or you just really like paper coffee cups. Maybe you’re just a fan of good design. Regardless of what makes you like it, the ‘I’m Not a Paper Cup’ is a cute way to avoid disposables on the down low. Double-walled porcelain will keep you from scalding your hands.
Recycled circuit board coaster set
(image via: Greenfeet)
Most recycled circuit board crafts are, shall we say, less than attractive. These recycled circuit board coasters, however, are both good looking and useful, with a circuit board-covered storage tin. They ensure that fewer circuit boards pile up in landfills and keep those annoying water rings off your table.
Recycled beer bottle serving spoons
(image via: SubStudio)
This may just be the most creative – and practical – use of recycled bottles as tableware ever. Designer Laurence Brabant cut discarded wine bottles and inserted sticks of beech wood to create these colorful and eye-catching serving utensils.