Ways to stay green while dining out
You may already carry your own reusable shopping bag to refrain from panic at the register as the cashier reaches for a plastic one. And if you have stopped going out to eat for fear of Styrofoam take-home boxes or eating all 5 courses to keep the plastic to-go bags away, fear no more. Green living covers almost every aspect of life, even ridding the need of those pesky containers.
- Bring your own. When dining out, consider bringing your own BPA and lead free take-out containers and cutlery made of plant based materials (such as the starch based utensils bellow) or even a container of your own from home. Check your local stores for eco-friendly take-out containers or search online.
- Other options. Before having your food packaged, ask for other containers besides Styrofoam ones. Chances are they may have biodegradable/compostable containers. If in San Francisco don’t bother asking, Styrofoam was banned almost two years ago.
- Do as you must. In the case that you have to have something put away in a Styrofoam/plastic container; ask that extra napkins/plastic cutlery not be included as this just becomes more waste.
- Drink up. When filling up your drink at the soda fountain avoid using a plastic lid or straw as this also just becomes waste.
- Lies! If someone claims to have recyclable Styrofoam chances are they don’t; Styrofoam is not commonly recycled because it is very difficult to do so.
- If plastic. If you do end up taking home a plastic container, check if it is recyclable and make sure that it gets recycled once you get home.
…to your health
Using BPA/lead free containers is safe to use as those components have been found to cause harm to normal human function.
…to your wallet
Sometimes bringing your own take-out containers can save you money. Some coffee shops offer discounts for those who bring their own coffee mugs.
…to the Earth
Fewer take-out containers leaving restaurants means fewer garbage in landfills and less harm to the environment, humans and animals.