Welcome to a regular blog feature called Guilt-Free Green Tips. These will be easy action steps you can take to be a little greener, and each mini post will feature one tip. Choose the ones that appeal to you, and learn what eco benefits a single, simple step can make.
This particular tip is one I used to follow and have since fallen away from, so I’m hoping that featuring this advice will inspire me to bring it back. It’s easy enough. I just toss several reusable food containers into a reusable bag and keep them in the car. The tricky part for me is usually remembering to bring them from the car into the restaurant!
I have had the pleasure of seeing startled expressions on the faces of waiters and waitresses when they ask if we want our leftovers wrapped, and I say, “Oh, I’ve got my own containers right here.” It’s kind of funny. And I haven’t come across anyone yet who has said it isn’t allowed.
How Does This Help?
- You avoid using harmful plastics (#3,6 and most #7s) that many restaurants still use in food containers. Which means you’ve just saved your family from ingesting the carcinogens, hormone disruptors and neurotoxins that can leach from these harmful plastics into your food. (Make sure the food storage containers you use at home are glass, stainless steel or plastics #1,2 or 5.)
- You keep Styrofoam containers out of the landfills where it takes up about 30% of available space.
- Through quiet action, you send an eco message to restaurants about the quality of their packaging and about reusability. Who knows? The lady at the table next to you may overhear your exchange and be inspired to bring her own containers the next time she goes out to eat!