So I’ve already covered how takeout and delivery has skyrocketed since the pandemic in my article on coronavirus and the environment but this doesn’t mean that zero waste on the go isn’t possible! Today I want to give you all some tips on how you can stay safe while eating food from restaurants but still being kind to the environment.
Say No to Straws and Plastic Silverware
Especially if you are getting delivery to your own home. Just use your everyday silverware instead! Many delivery apps have defaulted to not providing plastic silverware unless asked by the customer but if the place you’re ordering from hasn’t, add a note in special instructions to decline it just to be safe.
If you have decided to eat at a restaurant that happens to be open refuse a straw or bring your own! I covered straw alternatives in this article here.
Its okay to be a little bit picky on what places you order from. Order from places that use paper bags and cardboard or other biodegradable materials for their to go boxes. If you’re not sure what materials they use, call and ask!
Bring a Reusable Coffee Cup
This kills two birds with one stone. No need for a plastic cup or a straw! This particular travel mug is made from bamboo but there are other options that you can reuse over and over again as well.
Make Your Condiments at Home
Skip out on the prepackaged condiments like hot sauce or ketchup. You probably have some at home and there are also recipes you can find online to make your own. This not only saves on plastic but its a healthier option too since those prepackaged condiments are loaded with sodium. Apply this tip when ordering salad to go too since dressing typically comes in plastic packaging on the side.
No Need for Paper Napkins
This is similar to saying no thanks to a plastic straw. Simple add a note that says “no need for paper napkins”. If you’re truly trying to go zero waste, you’re probably already using cloth napkins that can be rewashed. This goes for eating in at restaurants too! Just bring your own cloth napkin unless the restaurant uses them too.
Use Your Own Containers
This one can be a little tricky, especially now during this pandemic. You can’t use your own containers for delivery options so that’s where I would default to ordering from places that I know align closer with my zero waste lifestyle. When eating at restaurants or food trucks though, it is becoming more common for patrons to request their food be taken in their own glass container. It’s called the #bringyourown movement. It is crucial to look up laws in your state when doing this though. Some states do not allow food trucks to place food into a customers container
or take-out orders.
These are just some practices that I try to implement when trying to stay zero waste on the go. If you’re new to this lifestyle, don’t be overwhelmed! Just start with one of these tips and slowly start implementing more when you feel more comfortable. Every step makes a difference and before you know it, it’ll all just become natural to you. Thanks for reading!