Helping to Make a Difference in the World, One Party at a Time VerTerra was born from the most simple and unexpected encounter. As his car bumped its way down a dirt road in rural India, Michael Dwork saw a woman soaking leaves in water, then pressing them in a crude waffle iron. She pulled out what looked like a plate and served food on it. Though he can't remember what he ate, that simple organic plate started Michael on a journey to refine what he saw that day into a stylish, durable and truly environmentally-friendly line of single-use dinnerware. Founded on the belief that it's possible to combine high design with the highest standards of environmental responsibility, VerTerra now redefines what stylish, sustainable and compostable disposable dinnerware can be. Thoughtfully and beautifully designed, VerTerra offers a chic touch of nature to each table. Durable and versatile, VerTerra is lightweight yet sturdy and stands up to hot foods, hot/cold liquids, the hot sun and can even used to bake in the oven, store in the fridge and reheat in the microwave. Since VerTerra is all-natural - made from only fallen leaves, steam, heat and pressure, there are no concerns about plastics, glues, lacquers, veneers or any toxins to leach into foods. While we can't ensure that your meal will be guilt free, we can ensure that your dinnerware is. Corporate Responsibility Our mission is to produce the highest quality products at fair prices using sustainable production methods and fair wage labor for the environmentally and socially conscious consumer. Each and every day we are inspired by our name, rooted in the Latin phrase "veritas terra" or "true to the earth." At VerTerra, being inspired means doing what we do best - producing dinnerware that's biodegradable, durable, and stands out for its natural look and feel. We stay true to the earth by using an agricultural byproduct - fallen leaves - that we borrow (and frequently save from being burned) and then return to the earth. We hope this practice will conserve resources for generations to come. Social Responsibility It is our social responsibility and privilege to help those in parts of the world with fewer resources. VerTerra products are made in South Asia, where we have created hundreds of fair-wage jobs. Our craftspeople work in conditions compliant with international standards and earn a steady income well above the average rate to support their families. We provide them with work experience and teach them new skills, giving them the economic means to significantly better their lives, while preserving the environment. Environmental Responsibility Our mission to be true to the earth is our top priority, and we're actively engaged in and concerned with all steps of production, from gathering the materials to bringing our dinnerware to your party. We start by collecting fallen leaves from plantations-no trees are ever cut down to make our dinnerware. The leaves are then brought to our factory, where they are sprayed with high-pressure water, steamed and UV sterilized. Over 80% of the water used is recaptured and reused, and the entire manufacturing process uses just 10% of the energy used in recycling.
MICHAEL DWORK Founder & CEO Even as a young student, committed environmentalist Michael Dwork understood the gravity of America's disposable waste and the great impact a plate like the one he saw while interning in India could have on our environment. Throughout his business school years, he worked tirelessly to improve the design and composition of the plates. Ultimately, VerTerra was born. VerTerra was not Michael's first business. With an economics degree from Columbia College and 4-years working in investment banking and other financial positions in New York City, the native New Yorker set off to study Chinese as a full time student at Nanjing University in China. While there, he started a company offering translation and negotiation services for foreign companies. He sold it before starting his M.B.A. at Columbia Business School. Michael's entrepreneurial talents gained recognition at business school. He won Columbia's Lang Fund competition for budding entrepreneurs and the school's outrageous business plan competition. In addition, he won the Draper Fisher Jurvetson East Coast Venture Challenge Since graduating, Michael has been featured in major publications including Time, Economist.com, CNN.com, Businessweek TV, Treehugger and The New York Sun. He is also on the young patrons' board of The Asia Society and The Museum of Art and Design. JOSH PARKER Chief Operating Officer Josh oversees day-to-day operations, bringing leadership experience to the VerTerra team. Josh's background includes senior management positions in sales, marketing and operations for Fortune 500 and leading private companies. Josh's acumen has led to press notice in numerous publications including Fast Company, Sales & Marketing Management, San Francisco Business Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Advertising Age and on many TV news programs. Josh is excited to contribute to VerTerra's mission to help make the world a better place, one party at a time.
VerTerra Dinnerware From Fallen Leaves™ About Dinnerware From Fallen Leaves™ While we can't promise that your meal will be guilt-free, we can promise that your dinnerware will be. Our environmentally-friendly plates, bowls and serving dishes are made only from two products: fallen leaves and water. They're non-toxic, biodegradable, compostable, durable, lightweight, convenient and downright stylish. Shop VerTerra Dinnerware From Fallen Leaves Compostable VerTerra Dinnerware From Fallen Leaves™ is BPI-Certified compostable. Tests also show soil containing VerTerra compost enhances plant growth over 15%! Durable + Versatile VerTerra Dinnerware stands up to hot foods and liquids. Whether you're serving chili or soup, sauces and more, VerTerra acts as a natural insulator (helpful for when carrying hot items), doesn't leak and won't impart taste. Sustainable VerTerra is made using fallen palm leaves, steam, heat and pressure. No plants or trees are cut down to make VerTerra. What could be more sustainable than fallen leaves that would have likely otherwise been burned? Microwave + Oven Safe VerTerra Dinnerware is microwave-safe for reheat on High, up to 2 minutes. You can also do short bakes in the oven, up to 350° for up to 45 minutes; however, the plates must be at least 6" from the heat source. Biodegradable VerTerra Dinnerware From Fallen Leaves™ will naturally biodegrade after use at home or in industrial compost, without the need of harmful chemical agents. Sun Resistant The sun has no effect on VerTerra, so you can feel confident to use for outdoor events, like picnics, BBQs, festivals and more.