Sustainability

Fast Food/Restaurant Blues

This day and age we are all in, everybody is busy. There are plenty of modern luxuries that can help make our lives a bit easier or are simply for pure enjoyment. One that I wanted to focus on this week is fast food/eating out/to-go eating. There is no way around it sometimes due to traveling, business meetings, forgetting lunch, going out to eat with friends, or simply because you enjoy something and are craving it.

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Although it is not the eco-friendliest habit, cooking at home for every single meal of every single day can be overwhelming, and even boring. People are busy, occasionally there’s simply no time to have a home cooked meal! Supporting local businesses is always a plus, too! Reducing the amount of times you go out by at least once a week, or if you don’t go all that often once a month will make a substantial impact over time. I try to reduce my intake to once a week personally, but of course there are those that outliers where it doesn’t happen occasionally. Life isn’t always black and white, so don’t feel too bad about ending up in a gray area. As long as your body is getting the nutrients it needs, because that is important too!

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Let’s Get Down to Business!

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Plastic Straws: Do you really need them? If you question the cleanliness of the glass that you are drinking from, why are you about to eat the food that comes from their kitchen? If the worry lies in the cleanliness of their drink dispensing machines, I don’t think a straw will help you in that department either. Milkshakes you are unable to do this with of course but do your best to either not open the straw, or if you get handed one for a to-go option, just simply say you do not need it and hand it back. It may seem like one straw here or there, but over time it WILL make a difference!

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Napkins: Yes, we all tend to need something to wipe our face off with when eating food. But—reduction is key. Do you really need that stack of them for one meal? Reducing the quantity, you take to the amount you will actually use most definitely makes an impact.

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Plastic Cutlery: If it’s the only means you have then by all means, go for it! If that food is coming back to the house with you, do you really need it? Some even bring a set of silverware for on-the-go usage… something I should begin to do myself.

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Sauce Packets: Sauce can sometimes make or break the meal you are about to enjoy. If it’s ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, ranch, soy sauce, etc. and you’re bringing home a pick-up order it’s not necessary to create this extra waste. The food residue makes them unable to be recycled, and what are they even made of anyway? Plastic? Some type of aluminum? If anyone knows more about this, feel free to elaborate!

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Plastic Bags: If your order is not complex and can be carried to your destination then by all means skip out on this product! If you have to use them and your local grocery store or recycling center accepts them, please take them there. Or you could even bring your own to pick up anything that won’t cause destruction to it.

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Recycling what you can: Occasionally food is given in ways that some parts can be recycled, but not the entirety of it. For instance, if food is given in a paper bag. The containers may not be recyclable, but the bag could. One way I try to combat this is by tearing parts off that can be recycled… Such as pizza boxes. The bottom part may not be able to be recycled, but the top part can be removed and recycled with cardboard. It’s the small details that add up the most!

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These are just a few different items that are able to be reduced. If you use them, try to reuse or recycle them if possible! If you think of any other alternatives or a better method of reducing, reusing, or recycling food on the go, please feel free to share them below!

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Remember: YOU ARE IMPORTANT. YOU MATTER. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

 

Sustainably Yours,

Nicole

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