Mother Earth Living

Set a Healthy Holiday Table

Consider the health of your family and the environment when setting your holiday table this year.
By Dana Dratch
November/December 2005
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Organic French linen placemats and napkins from Rawganique
Photo Courtesy Rawganique

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The holiday table is a celebration of abundance. What better place to practice green values for the health of your family and the earth? Some ideas to consider:

Glasses and Dinnerware 

Opt for glass instead of crystal to avoid lead worries. Add extra sparkle with matching or coordinating glass dinnerware, coasters, or trays. Source: And by choosing recycled-glass dishes, you help save precious natural resources.


The Table 

Shopping for a new table? Save trees by seeking out one made from fast-growing bamboo. Safeguard your family’s health with formaldehyde-free glues.


If you prefer a hardwood or veneer table, look for certification by the Forest Stewardship Council to be sure the wood meets environmental and social standards.


In a Hurry? 

Disposable organic bamboo plates are beautiful, renewable, and biodegradable. Also available: matching reusable utensils.



Tablecloths, runners, place mats, and napkins set the stage for a special meal, but many modern fabrics are treated with formaldehyde and chemicals to resist wrinkles and stains. Choose organically grown, naturally dyed, or untreated options.



Nothing creates a holiday glow like candles. Avoid leaded wicks (which give off toxic fumes) and petroleum-based wax. Instead, choose naturally scented, handcrafted products made from soy, palm, or beeswax.



Flowers add life and color to the table, but you’ll want to bypass the synthetic pesticides and herbicides with organic, biodynamic, or wildcrafted offerings.


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