It’s probably not a surprise that I love to eat out. After all, I’m writing a blog on the subject. I would happily eat out or order in three meals a day, every day. But my wallet and my waistline have other ideas. And I’ve recently become very aware of the amount of garbage that I generate on a daily basis. A food container inside a paper bag inside a plastic bag with straws and napkins on the side is probably the most unnecessary accumulation of waste to which I contribute on a regular basis. And it just might be avoidable. Here are my thoughts on having a greener 2013-2014 school year.
Supplementing your lunches on the run with snacks from home is a great way to save a little cash and buy in bulk. A small bottle of hand sanitizer is vital for those meals-on-a-train. Why not buy the jumbo bottle to refill your daily supply and say “no thank you” to that mammoth stack of bodega napkins? And whatever happened to the handkerchief? What an incredibly useful (dare I say chic?) item. Use it to wrap fruit or wash your hands or even, yes, blow your nose. Those small glass jars that hold artichoke hearts are the perfect travel size for salad dressing or blueberries or lemon wedges (also a great natural cleanser). And to refresh your breath and spirit after a gyro with extra hot sauce, take along a sprig of parsley or mint from that huge bunch you bought at the Farmer’s Market and can’t imagine using up before it wilts. Another must is a travel mug or water bottle. After throwing away hundreds of plastic cups last year, I bought a plastic iced coffee cup at a large chain and brought it to Pete and Jenny’s coffee cart on Broadway and Houston. They were more than happy to fill it for me and a new morning ritual was born. Flush with this success I pledge to bring my own “to go” container with me wherever I go this year, saving perhaps fifty doggie bags. Will I become the quintessential grandmother wrapping rolls into my handkerchief and sticking them into my purse? Maybe, but that’s okay with me. My grandmother was way cool-and she never wasted a thing.
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