Wednesday, August 4, 2010

No more plastic take-out containers (Day 21)

As mentioned in previous posts, travelling certainly puts a dent in any eco-changes I plan.  Everything I do must be done on the road, without the comforts of home and routine.

Take today, for instance.  I arrived at my friend's house late afternoon.  After spending time starting to catch up on our lives, we realized it was dinner time.  The only problem - neither of us had given any thought to it.

And it was 5:30 p.m. - the witching hour in my house.  Dinner had better make an appearance in the next half hour or so, or the rest of the evening wasn't going to be pretty.

"I have chicken," she said dubiously, "but it's not completely thawed."   Hmmm....twenty minutes to completely thaw and another 1/2 hour to cook?  Yeah, NOT going to happen.

"We could always order in," she continued. 

I nodded.  That worked for me.  While she ordered pizza, I perused Vanessa's list looking for changes that could be made while I was away.  And wouldn't you know it - take out containers were on her list.

"Hey, look at this,"  I pointed to the screen,  "No more take-out containers unless I bring my own."

"What about compostable ones?  Pizza boxes can go in the green bin. Do those count as eco-friendly?,"  she replied.  I thought about that.   I wasn't going to completely give up take-out food - really, as a busy mom with lots of activities to go to and work schedules to contend with, there was no way I was going to give up my "mother's helper."   But could I restrict our take-out to only restaurants that provide compostable packaging?   Would I be able to remember to bring my own take-away containers if we ate in a restaurant?

It might work; it means no more Swiss Chalet delivery for a while, only eating in the restaurant.  Same thing with my favourite Thai place.  Both restaurants use styrofoam and/or plastic containers.

But in reality, my family doesn't eat restaurant food that often.  DD's allergy prevents us from eating at many restaurants easily, so we tend to stick with the chains that provide us with standard allergy information.  And quite frankly,  it's expensive for a family of 5 to eat restaurant food, so I usually make home cooked meals, anyway.

"OK, " I said to my friend,  "here's my change for today.  No more plastic or styrofoam take-out containers.  I will only use delivery service where there is compostable food packaging.   I will only bring left-overs home if I bring my own containers."

"Works for me," she replied.  Me, too.


  1. Hi,

    I just found your blog and I must say, I enjoy reading about your daily efforts to be green. So much so, that I have decided to "revamp" my efforts as well.


  2. Hello!
    I can related so much to your current post!
    We came back two days ago and had to order food since it was 9:30pm local time... We ordered sushi and it came all wrapped in TONS of plastic containers... Even the paper bag was totally no planet-friendly : some kind of super glossy paper bag... We won't do it again... But when travelling it is very difficult to keep it on the green tracks...


  3. we have a little Tia place around the corner that we love who will give 15% off if you bring your own tupperware. its a double win win. one for the environment and one for the wallet!! It is surprising how many places are starting to do that. who knows all you can do is ask, perhaps Swiss Challet has an eco friendly option?


  4. Thanks, PH. I will ask Swiss Chalet if they have an eco-friendly option take-out option. I'll ask my Thai place, too.

  5. Rubbermaid & Tupperware make containers that collapse flat for storage and then pop up to full size when needed. They would be great to put in your purse to take into restuarants.

  6. Ooohhh, that's sounds perfect JDL. I'll keep my eyes open for those the next time I go to the grocery store or Canadian Tire.

  7. Great news about plastic take out containers.