Lend Me a Plate (LMAP) is a volunteer-run program that aims to reduce waste generated at events and gatherings by providing durable goods as an alternative to the use of disposable products.
SOMRA launched LMAP in response to the amount of garbage generated after events at Ashland and Talent venues (e.g., parks, the Historic Armory, Pioneer Hall, Ashland Community Center).
Now, hosts of weddings, reunions, memorials, meetings, and parties, whether public or private, can provide a more pleasant dining experience for their guests while preventing single-use items such as paper plates, plastic cups and cutlery, and styrofoam products from heading to the landfill.
How Does LMAP Work?
Borrowers select from an online list of items such as place settings (dishes, silverware, glasses, etc.), cloth napkins and tablecloths, and other durable service items. These items are available on a first come first served basis and there is no minimum requirement for borrowing. A volunteer LMAP host coordinates with the borrower to have the selected items ready for pickup from our base at the Ashland Water Street recycling center on the designated date. The borrower is then responsible for returning the items in clean condition by the agreed date, enabling more community members to enjoy this service.
Thanks to SOMRA’s generous supporters and donations, the LMAP service is free of charge to residents of Ashland and Talent, Oregon. We strive to promote community engagement in working towards zero waste becoming the standard way to host events.
For a small investment of time and effort, LMAP borrowers provide a great experience for their guests while supporting and modeling zero waste efforts in our communities.
The concept of a lending library of durable, reusable table service items to replace disposable items that end up in the landfill is based on Cheryl Boerger’s community initiative, “Plates for People and the Planet” in Mount Shasta, CA.