Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Green to Go

Ways to stay green while dining out


organicmealYou 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.


Top Tips

  • 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.

  • utensils2Other 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.


Common Mistakes

  • 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.


Further Reading

Side Effect of Plastic: Aggressive Kids

Raising Healthy Children

Safe and Healthy Water Bottles and Other Containers

Bottles and Sippy Cups

The “Rubber Ducky” Chemical

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