Date TimeOctober 28, 2019
VoiceOur readers care about the environment, but making sustainable choices isn’t always as straightforward as we’d like. Swap Shop is our regular series hoping to tackle that, each week a HuffPoster will take on a new green challenge and write about their journey to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.Plastic is so ubiquitous nowadays that the idea of cutting your usage can feel like an insurmountable task. 
Is Bamboo Cutlery All It’s Cut Out To Be?
Take beauty products, for example. You can swap a liquid shampoo for a solid bar, as my editor did last year, but when you proudly place it in your bathroom, you’ll soon realise just how much other plastic is lurking there: toothpaste tubes, cleaning products, even the packaging around the loo roll.
So, short of admitting defeat, what’s a girl to do? Rowena Bird, the founder of Lush cosmetics, advises that anything you can do is better than nothing. “It’s all about creating good habits,” she told me in a recent HuffPost interview. “Don’t make so many big changes at at a time, start small and build on it.”
She shared the simple changes she has made day-to-day to cut down on her own plastic use. One of them was carrying a bamboo cutlery set to use instead of plastic knives and forks while on the go. 
It’s one of those things many of us will take for granted. When your mind is on other things, such as the tricky afternoon meeting coming up or whether you should get a blueberry muffin to go with lunch, it’s understandable that these things go unnoticed.
But while takeaway coffee cups have been the focus of our anti-plastic efforts, I’m surprised cutlery has managed to remain under-the-radar. Inspired by Rowena, therefore, I decide to use bamboo cutlery for every meal for a week.The set I use is from And Keep, costing £9.45, coming with a knife, fork, spoon, as well as a straw and its cleaner. It’s packaged in a cloth jute pouch, with elastic bands keeping each item in place. It rolls up compactly so it fits easily in my bag and is so lightweight I often forget it’s there.
OK, let’s back track: When I say it fits easily in my bag, I mean my large handbag. The one gripe I have initially is that it won’t fit in my small cross-body bag I like to wear when quickly zipping around for errands. It means I have to use my bigger bag by default – while not hugely altering to my day, it’s a little bit inconvenient.
Eating with the bamboo set is not much bother – it doesn’t feel flimsy nor does it get soggy when coming into contact with sauces and dressings (nor melted cheese for that matter). Also when eating paella for dinner during the week, the saffron rice doesn’t stain my fork with a neon yellow shade. Result. 
When eating steak at another point, I note the knife isn’t quite sharp enough to cut through it – at least not without a fair bit of elbow grease which risks upsetting the table. Granted, a plastic knife would likely snap when put to the challenge, but for the purpose of this challenge – a big fat fail.
It’s worth noting that for most meals, I can avoid plastic cutlery altogether. I work part-time in an office with a free canteen (metal knives and forks, included) and eat many meals at home. However, as a freelance journalist, there are days when I work remotely and attend meetings throughout the day. On those days it’s common for me to stop off in Pret and get a coffee and a fruit bowl, sometimes lunch - my favourite is the kale and cauliflower mac n’ cheese, FYI. 
On one day when I grab a quick bite in a rush one lunchtime, there’s no sink to wash up. After stuffing the dirty cutlery quickly back inside the pouch, I realise I’ve stained it. 
Another aspect I don’t get along with is the straw. This particular one is so thick that it was hard to slurp up any liquid at all – I try to use it with a can of coke and it doesn’t fit in the opening! 
Overall, despite the high recommendation from Lush’s founder, the bamboo cutlery sadly doesn’t quite do it for me. It feels like a logical solution to reduce plastic cutlery use, but it isn’t quite finely tuned enough to make it a habit I’ll keep up. Perhaps if I got lunch on-the-go more often I’d consider it, but the eateries I visit need to catch on.
 Related... I Now Have A Milkman And I'll Never Look Back We all work hard to earn our money – so it shouldn’t feel like hard work to spend it well. At HuffPost Finds we’ll help you find the best stuff that deserves your cash, from the ultimate lipstick to a durable iron to replace the one that broke (RIP). All our choices are completely independent but we may earn a small commission if you click a link and make a purchase.

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