Would you take your own container to a restaurant?

October 14th, 2007

In some cities, such as Oakland and Berkeley in California, styrofoam boxes have been banned from use in restaurants. Restaurants in around 100 cities are required to use recyclable, biodegradable or compostable boxes instead of styrofoam.

However, there’s still plenty of styrofoam delivered to restaurant tables across America. So, here’s an idea — If you live in a city that hasn’t banned styrofoam to-go boxes, consider taking your own to-go container to the restaurant. Even if you live in a city that has banned styrofoam to-go boxes, consider taking your own reusable container; you’ll be a true green angel since it’s better than taking a disposable one from the restaurant.

How do you know when you’ll need one? Well, you don’t, but you might want to take one along when:

*You are planning on ordering an appetizer and/or dessert

*You are going to a restaurant known for its huge portions

*But don’t take one to buffets!

*Or you could always keep one in your car along with your reusable shopping bags ; )

I wish I had taken a container along when I could not eat all of my chicken tamales recently. Out of habit I asked for a to-go box. What I got was a standard styrofoam creation about three times larger than I needed. Yes, taking a container along requires some planning, but you’ll put one less evil styrofoam container in the world.

How do you avoid styrofoam boxes when you place a to-go order? Unless you show up ahead of time with a bunch of containers, I don’t think you can avoid styrofoam in those cases.

If you have a favorite take-out restaurant that uses styrofoam containers, talk with the restaurant manager. Suggest biodegradable alternatives like www.simplybiodegradable.com and others.