Take it home… leave the ‘foam!

Recently our family had lunch at a restaurant and at the end of the meal… lo and behold, leftovers!

There was no need to waste food and leave it behind, but the question loomed: “what am I going to have to carry this home in?”  When the server asked me if I wanted a to-go container, I decided to ask.

Me:  “Is the container Styrofoam?”
Server:  “Yes, it is.  But would you like me to use aluminum foil instead?”
Me:  “Why YES! (*big smile) I would!  I’m “very green” and I detest Styrofoam.”
Server:  “No problem, ma’am.”

No problem!  Imagine that.  We DO have a choice.  I know aluminum foil won’t do for some things, but I now realize there is a choice, and if asked, we’ll probably be given an alternative, greener option.  I was happy not to waste food, but I was just as happy not to accept Styrofoam that will live in a landfill for hundreds of years and release toxins into the ground.

I’ve even recently learned about new containers and tableware (thanks to reader, Beth!) that are made from corn, sugarcane and paper.  They’re biodegradable and compostable and include cups, plates, utensils and napkins… all kinds of good stuff appropriate for your next gathering, available in quantities for home use.  The holidays are around the corner, and who doesn’t love a great party, but add Mother Earth to the guest list by not serving her toxic trash.

So, after I ate the leftovers, the aluminum foil got a quick wash and went to the recycling can. But next time, I want it in the shape of a swan!

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"Going green" has always been a part of my daily life. It began, as a little girl, when I helped my mom gather the recyclables and deliver them to a recycling center. It continues today, as a mom myself, when I teach my own children those same responsible virtues.

There are so many more facets of going green in the modern day, and the definition of the term reaches far beyond simple recycling. But going green isn't just about installing solar panels on your rooftop... it's about all the little choices that make the biggest difference. From food choices, to cleaning your home, to saving money on your monthly utility bills and consumption; the choices are vast.

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6 thoughts on “Take it home… leave the ‘foam!

  1. Good for you, not just going for the default option on the leftovers. As for plates, another non default option on disposable, compostables I found recently is Verterra. While I’ve found that most eco plates use toxic binders to give them shape and stability, these are made, surprisingly, entirely from leaves! Lots to say about all the cool things I dig about them, but go over here and see for yourself. Did I mention they’re nifty looking? Yes. http://www.verterra.com

  2. Along the same lines, Delivery.com just announced that you can now opt out of restaurants sending alone plastic utensils and condiments with the carry-out food. They’re touting it as their greener option.

  3. Paul – thanks for another great resource!

    Trisha – Ahhh… “responsibility” and offering options! Isn’t it great!? 🙂

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