Just Say No When You’re Getting Your Food To-Go

Eco-friendly businesses going green

To-go containers and other stuff make up a huge portion of our waste problem. Not only are most to-go containers made of non-recyclable materials, but a to-go order typically comes with a whole lot of side items that we just don’t need. Making the change is simple if you get into the habit of saying “no” to unnecessary to-go items.

Say no to more trash

Reduce waste
Reduce trash by using your own containers for to-go food.

We know that the saying “just say no” is a classic anti-drug slogan, but in the spirit of sustainable practices, we’d like to repurpose or reuse that slogan to become the mantra for reducing waste and saving the planet, especially when it comes to to-go items. Before you leave the restaurant with your food, take a look at everything that was dropped in your bag and make sure that it is actually stuff that you need.

Say no to plastic bags

You bring a tote to the grocery store you need to start bringing a tote to pick-up your to-go order. Just say no to the plastic bag and reuse your own bag.

Say no to plastic straws

Many places are eliminating plastic straws, but if they haven’t you can eliminate your own use of plastic straws. Let the restaurant know up front that you don’t want a straw, and check to make sure they haven’t thrown a few in there with your order out of habit. Just say no to plastic straws.

Say no to to-go containers

Reduce trash
Reuse to-go food containers to reduce trash.

Many to-go containers are made out of styrofoam or plastics which are not recyclable. In fact, even a to-go container that is made of recyclable material can’t be recycled once it’s covered in food stains and grease. Make it a habit to carry a reusable to-go container and ask the restaurant to put your food in there. You may not be able to do this with large food orders, but if you are a regular at a local cafe or restaurant, get in the habit of bringing your own container. Just say no to to-go containers.

Reuse plastic to-go containers

If you do end up getting your food in a plastic to-go container, try to reuse that container at home. There are plenty of ways to wash and reuse most to-go containers, and just a few more uses before they go in the trash or recycling (depending on the plastic) can make a big difference in the long run.

Just say no to condiments

Do you really need that much ketchup, mustard, mayo, and relish? No, you don’t. The reason we know you don’t is that you probably have a drawer full of single-use plastic condiment packages. Only take what you absolutely need, and if you have condiments back at the office or at home, don’t take any. Just say no to single-use plastic condiment packages.

Sunrise Sanitation is dedicated to improving our waste management problem by providing sustainable and reliable trash and recycling services to West Virginia and Maryland.

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