Go Green With Your Own “Take Out Kit”

by heather

This has to be, in my opinion, one of the best green living tips that I’ve ever seen. And boy oh boy, do I wish I could take credit for this one, but I actually stumbled upon this tip from Renee at Enviromom, a wonderful green living blog that I really love.

Here’s the rub- every time we go out to eat, we usually come home with leftovers. And, this means that we also bring home plenty of those styrofoam take-out boxes.


Those are the worst! I consider myself lucky because I can recycle mine at Recycle Livingston. But, most recycling centers around the country don’t recycle styrofoam, so it just gets tossed in the trash.

Renee’s big idea? Create your own Eco-Friendly Take Out Kit.

Assemble a small collection of plastic durables, and put them in a small, reusable canvas bag. And, keep this bag in your car for when you go out to eat (that way you won’t have to remember to bring it, and it’s on hand for those last minute dashes to your local brew pub).

When the waiter or waitress starts to reach for that big stack of styrofoam, you can hand over your more eco-friendly take-out kit with a smile.

The key here is that as soon as you get home and put your plastic durables in the fridge, refill your canvas bag with empty containers and put it back in the car. Skip this step and you’ll mostly likely find yourself empty-handed next time you go out. And, you’ll grind your teeth when you have to take that styrofoam home and throw it in the trash.

Thanks Renee at Enviromom for such an awesome suggestion. And, bye bye styrofoam!

You might also want to check out my product review for the Stainless Steel Lunch Carrier, which would make a great addition to an eco-friendly take-out kit. One of my goals for 2009 is to eliminate plastic out of the kitchen (no Gladware, for example) and make the transition to glass and stainless steel. It’s going a bit slow, but I’m getting there!


Aya @ Thrive February 12, 2009 at 4:54 pm

That’s a great idea and it would save restaurants some money too–it’s a win-win! Except, I wonder if the idea will fly in some places but not go as smoothly in others. Of course, that would all depend on if so many people started doing it that it would become common practice.
This is not related to this post, but another post of yours inspired me to finally invest in a Sigg thermos 🙂

Beth @ Smart Family Tips February 12, 2009 at 7:11 pm

What a GREAT idea! I’m already doing waste-free lunches at work and I’ve stopped going to the salad bar because of the plastic containers, but I hadn’t figured out a way around the restaurant problem. It’s a simple, but brilliant idea. Thanks to you and to Enviromom.

heather February 13, 2009 at 4:37 am

Hi Aya and Beth,

I feel the same way; this idea is so simple it’s genius! When I first read it, it was a “smack-on-forehead-and-say-duh!” moment.


Aya, that’s awesome you bought a Sigg! I love mine.

Thanks so much for writing in!

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