Monday, August 17, 2009

Is It Green?

I was heading to a party this past weekend and wanted to bring a gift that would be cool and green at the same time. After a bit of thought, I decided on a cut fruit basket...what could be greener than fruit, even if it does have to travel a little bit? I thought this way I'd avoid adding clutter and stuff to someone else's house. But was it really a green gift? When I picked it up, this is what I was given.

I was a bit disappointed in the amount of wrapping and packaging, but the cardboard is recyclable, and I understand that as a business, if you're sending someone home with cut fruit you'd like it to be covered in plastic.

Here's the basket ready to eat...looks pretty green, right?

Unfortunately, this company skewered all the fruit on plastic rather than wooden skewers. And they're stuck in some kind of florist's foam block to keep them standing upright. However, the fruit tasted great, the basket looked great, and with a few small changes I think this could be a really green gift. To make these baskets at home I think all you'd need would be: fruit, melon baller, funky cookie cutter.

Option 1:
Cut the fruit into cool shapes, stick them on a wooden skewer (renewable resource) and use the same kind of foam block and basket as above. Green savings: plastic wrap, cardboard box, plastic skewers. AND the foam and basket are reusable if you're making them for your own party.

Option 2:
This one came to me as I was writing the article, trying to get rid of the foam and basket. At first I thought of just putting the skewers in a vase, but realized the skewers would probably fall in, especially as their numbers dwindles as people ate the fruit. Then I realized you could stick the skewers in some RICE KRISPIE SQUARES! Since you can shape Rice Krispie squares into about any shape you'd like, you could create any number of funky shapes for your skewers. I'd probably start off with just a big rectangle and make a garden of fruit flowers. Green Savings: plastic wrap, cardboard box, plastic skewers, foam block, basket. The only thing that wouldn't be edible would be the wooden skewers, and they're a renewable resource. I can see myself using this option the next time I have a party! :) Extra bonus: no danger of collecting a lot of different baskets in your basement.

UPDATE: I've been told that what I thought was foam was in fact a head of lettuce holding the skewers upright. I love that!

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