Sunday, July 4, 2010

Superhero SOS!

Frantic cries for help from EnviRambo.

It's Sunday and I know I should be posting fabulous links for you to check out, but instead I am going to ask you for links. You see, I am in a bit of a quagmire and need help. One of the non-profit committees I serve on is planning a fundraiser selling ice cream at the county fair. I like ice cream, it's July, hopefully it will be hot and we'll make lots of money. That's all well and good; however, when I started going through the supply list my predicament began.

  • Paper Towels (8-10 pkg) - 6 packs
  • Napkins (4 pkgs - white) cheapest ones - 10 packs
  • Spoons (white plastic - 500 count) - 10 boxes
  • Disinfectant Wipes (pkgs of 3) - 5 packs
  • Rubber Gloves (*the plastic ones do not work with ice cream* - 2 pk containers) - about 5
  • 8 oz Styrofoam cups (used for ice cream when customer doesn't want a cone) - 6 boxes
  • 12 oz Styrofoam cups (for malts) - about 6 boxes
  • 16 oz Styrofoam cups (for Root Beer floats) - about 6 boxes
  • 2 cardboard signs (Markers to write the menu on)
  • 409 Spray (To wash off tables and counter)
  • Water - depending on weather. Last year we went through 120 (24 pack) cases.
Reading through this I could feel my pulse quicken. My heart began to race and I think I even broke a sweat. Ever item on that list makes me cringe!

5,000 plastic spoons!
12,000 Styrofoam cups!
2,880 plastic water bottles!

You see my predicament?

I need a cost effective, more environmentally friendly supply list so I can fulfill my obligation without compromising my beliefs. HELP!

I am looking for paper cups, wooden spoons, compostable, biodegradable, recycled, anything! They need to be fairly cheap. I know that eco-friendly products cost more and I am willing to pay the price, but I am only one on a committee and this is a fundraiser. Higher costs = less profit. If the price is too much over the current list I will surely get shot down. Just talking them into recycling bins for the water bottles was a challenge.

I have been scouring the internet without much luck, so I thought I would throw out a Superhero SOS, in hopes that one of you have been through this already and may know of a resource to use. Anyone?


Michelle said...

this is actually something I have been looking into myself. Have you considered ice cream sandwiches and/or using waffle cups?

Michelle said...

(Michelle, again) found you a paper bowl option, go to and search for paper bowl to see. And has wooden spoons. I will keep looking and let you know what else I find. This is fun to be able to help!

Anonymous said...

I always hate going to BBQs and birthday parties because I know of all the wasteful products I will encounter. My advice is just to serve ice cream cones. Less is always more. Do you think parents really want their kids to be eating malts and rootbeer floats on a Hot, Sticky day. I know I wouldn't. Ice cream cones are green! Also tell everyone volunteering to bring their own water bottles. There will have to be water faucets available right? It the end it will be cheaper not to buy water. I know it will be hard to convice others but its worth a shot!

Robbie said...

I vote for the ice cream cones too. Dripping ice cream cones just scream summer. And you have the bonus of less trash.

Daisy said...

1. cones, not cups, will save a bundle and keep it green.
2. provide a bucket for napkins; they can be composted later.
3. For cleaning the booth, bring rags and cloth towels.
4. Is it realistic to offer a few cents off for bringing your own bowl? Or cup?

Beth said...

For the things you need, especially in quantity, check out Green Duck -- I really like what this company is trying to do.

Hope you find something that works.

Pure Mothers said...

You can get recycled paper towels and napkins and have a bin to compost them afterwards. I agree with cones instead of cups - you'll save $ and the environment on the spoons! make your own clean up spray with water, white vinegar and a few drops of Dr. Bronners liquid castile soap. (Their bottles are 100% post consumer plastic). For an antibacterial effect add some tea tree oil. Good Luck!

Kathryn Grace said...

Do you have a Whole Foods Market in your area? Whole Foods gives individual stores a long leash in community giving. They might be quite pleased to help with some--or who knows, all--of your needs. Their corporate giving page tells how to contact your local store and request an in-kind donation:

You might get some help from other "green" companies this way as well. Gaiam spring to mind; Seventh Generation is another.


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