Making my own compostable to-go utensils at home is a great way for me to reduce my use of single-use plastics. With just a few simple materials, I can create reusable forks, spoons, and knives that will naturally break down in the compost bin when I’m done with them. This allows me to make sustainable choices without sacrificing convenience.
Selecting the Right Materials
The first step is selecting the right materials to make compostable utensils. The main things I need are:
Wooden Skewers or Chopsticks
- Wooden skewers or chopsticks form the handle of the utensils.
- I prefer bamboo because it is naturally compostable.
- Sturdy wooden skewers also work well.
- I cut the skewers to the desired length forforks, spoons, or knives.
Natural Cotton String, Yarn, or Twine
- I use natural cotton string, yarn, or twine to attach the functional part of the utensil to the handle.
- Cotton will compost along with the wood handle.
- I prefer unbleached and untreated natural cotton string.
Cornstarch or Wood Pulp
- For the functional spoon and fork parts, I mold cornstarch into the desired shapes.
- Wood pulp can also be used instead of cornstarch.
- Both cornstarch and wood pulp will break down in the compost.
Creating the Utensil Shapes
With my materials selected, it’s time to create the actual utensil shapes. Here are the steps I follow:
Making the Spoon
- I mix cornstarch with water to create a firm, moldable dough.
- I shape the dough into a spoon head and let it dry completely.
- I use cotton string to tie the wooden handle to the spoon head.
Making the Fork
- I roll cornstarch dough into long tubes and cut them to form fork tines.
- I gather the tines together and wrap cotton string around the base to attach them.
- I tie the string around the end of the wooden handle to finish the fork.
Making the Knife
- I can use sturdy wooden skewers as the blades of knives.
- I use sandpaper to sharpen the tip of the skewer into a blade.
- I tie another wooden skewer horizontally as the handle.
Creating a Portable Case
To make my compostable utensils portable for on-the-go use, I sew a simple cotton drawstring pouch. The pouch keeps the utensils together in my bag without taking up much space.
Some key steps for the portable case include:
- Cutting two circles out of cotton fabric for the top and bottom
- Sewing the edges together to form a circular pouch
- Adding a drawstring casing along the top and threading cotton drawstring through it
This completes my homemade compostable utensil set – now I can take them anywhere!
Maintaining and Composting the Utensils
Maintaining these homemade utensils is easy – I just wash them with soap and warm water after each use. Avoiding the dishwasher helps prevent the materials from prematurely degrading.
When the utensils do start to show signs of wear, it’s time to compost them. I simply place the worn out utensil parts directly in my compost bin and let nature take its course. The wood, cotton, and cornstarch will all break down naturally into nutrient-rich soil.
Making my own compostable utensils is an incredibly rewarding experience. With just basic materials and a few easy steps, I can craft reusable to-go cutlery that also cares for the planet. Going homemade and compostable is a change I’m glad I made!