Today is Blog Action Day 2011. This year’s topic is food. In America, people have a huge addiction to take-out food, which creates quite a trash issue. Paper or plastic bags, wrapped plastic silverware, straws, paper cups, plastic or Styrofoam containers and more trash, makes take-out food, not so very eco-friendly. Plus, most of this trash is not easy to recycle and this stuff is not going to decompose. It’ll just sit and sit in the landfill.
The best thing to do is cut back on fast food and take-out. Seriously, I know people who eat take-out or fast food every single day (no joke). In fact, I know people who give fast food to their kids every single day (yikes). Not only does this create large amounts of trash, but most of the time, take-out and fast food is terribly unhealthy, which in turn equals negative health problems and consumer issues. Not to mention, almost zero take-out is organic. So cutting back is seriously helpful for the planet and your own health.
That said, I’d be insane to assume I can get people to quit eating fast food and other take-out altogether, so there are some other things you can do to lower your take out foot-print.
- Take your own reusable bag, cardboard box lid, or even a reusable lunch bag and have the food establishment put your food in it vs. a plastic or paper bag. This will work better if you skip the drive through or call ahead. If you go through a drive through, you’re going to have a hard time convincing the restaurant to skip the disposables.
- With the above in mind, skip the drive through. Get out of your car and go inside. Don’t sit for 20 minutes idling in a line of cars.
- Take your own food containers. Some restaurants won’t fill your reusable containers due to health regulations or general restaurant policy, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. To-Go Ware makes many creative options for hot and cold food storage that would work well for take out, such as their To-Go Ware 3 Tier Stainless Steel Food Carrier.
- Skip the drink in total. There is no reason to get a drink, in a paper or Styrofoam cup, plus the lid and straw, when I know you’ve got drinks at home.
- Just say no to utensils and paper napkins. Since you’re going home, use your own silverware and cloth napkins vs. disposables.
- Forget the extras. Tiny little packets of ketchup, other sauces, salt, pepper and butter add up to a whole lot of trash. If you’ve got condiments at home, use them.
- Talk to your fave take out place about going more green with their take out packaging. The Green Restaurant Association has a handy go green suggestion letter you can give to your favorite take-out place.
How do you keep your take out green?