By August 24, 2012 10 Comments Read More →

A Little Greener

I have been thinking lately… about all the styrofoam that is ending up in our landfills.  I have been feeling guilty  when I eat out and have leftovers and the waiter/waitress brings me this huge styrofoam container that I will later have to discard.  Styrofoam currently makes up 25 to 30 percent of our landfills and it doesn’t bio-degrade. Considering we are only increasing in population it stands to reason that unless we do something we are going to end up in a serious pickle.  So today I made a conscious decision to start doing a little more of my part and hopefully to encourage others to do more of their part as well.  I devised myself a plan, not a convenient plan, but a plan none the less, to not use or throw away styrofoam; as much as possible anyway.  Step one: take my own washable, plastic go containers when I go out to eat.  I know.. pain in the ass, I mean I am just getting the hang of remembering to take my re-usable grocery bags into the store, and I feel bad when I forget.  I will be diligent though because there are hardly any restaurants that use eco friendly go containers.  The upside is my own go containers will keep the leftovers fresher to be sure.  Step two: To bring my go containers when ordering food to go and ask if the restaurant will oblige me and put my order into my container.  This is where it gets a little hairy..

Due to portion control and inconvenience some restaurants may not be willing to do this, but there is no harm in asking.

At the first opportunity I put step two of my plan into action. GO ME!!!!  I frequently get salads to go from The Habit Hamburger Grill.  They have really tasty healthy food.  I carefully selected a plastic container that was as close in size as I could get to the one they normally give me, this is important because of the portion control I mentioned earlier.  Some restaurants use the size of the plate or container to gauge the correct portion. Since the Habit tosses their salads.. I knew that they did their portioning in the salad bowl.   So off I went container in hand, feeling a little sheepish, and placed my order, and politely, and confidently, asked if they would put my salad into my own go container.  To my surprise and delight… they said yes.  This is their signature Santa Barbara Cobb salad in my go container.  Woo0Hoo0  GO HABIT!!!

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 The Habit’s go containers happen to be plastic and are recyclable, however, though I recycle my plastics there are still many who are not that good about it.  Plastic takes one thousand years to bio-degrade in the landfill and out of the 33.6 million plastics a year that are discarded only 6.5 % get recycled.  Step three: Start a petition asking  my local restaurants to start using eco friendly go containers.  This of course will only solve part of the problem because then more of the precious trees that I so love will get chopped down for that endeavor, but at least we won’t have non-degradable styrofoam in our landfills.  So I urge you, if you are not already doing it,  to make a conscious decision of your own, to start doing a little more of your part to be a little greener. A little effort will make a BIG difference if we all do it together!
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10 Comments on "A Little Greener"

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  1. avatar Katy Kern says:

    You go, DANI! Love this idea. I am huge recycler and cannot throw out any cardboard, cans, glass bottles or newspapers. I have to recycle. My kids are really into it as well; and I think when their generation is leading this country recycling will be even more a part of the standard.

    My goal is to someday have a small trash can pick-up and a HUGE recycling bin. :-)

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    • avatar Dani Heart says:

      Thank you Katy… so glad you stopped by and commented. We have two recycling bins and we usually fill them. I was surprised to learn that recycling is not available everywhere. We need to change that. :) I so appreciate you.

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  2. avatar Larry Conley says:

    Dani,

    “A little effort will make a BIG difference if we all do it together!” This is the key idea to a greener world and to a better world in multiple ways from ecology to politics.

    In active unity there is strength AND hope.

    Larry

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  3. avatar TJ Lubrano says:

    Woohooo! Go Dani! Love it :) You have to start with yourself to make a better world right? So cool. We recycle our things as well and for my packaging of art I keep all the boxes that I get when I order something or when I get packages. No reason to throw those out right? You can use most of the stuff again ^_^

    I want a salad now *sigh*

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    • avatar Dani Heart says:

      I do that too TJ. I save packaging materials and re-use them. Smart girls we are. :) It’s nice to know that other countries are recycling too. Thank you so much for commenting it means a lot. :)

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      • avatar TJ Lubrano says:

        Anytime, Dani!! I’ve been so busy lately that commenting on Expats articles is pushed for now. I do read a lot though :)

        We are smart!! Woohoo! *high fives* Enjoy your weekend!

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  4. avatar Elisa Ashley says:

    Does anything actually degrade in landfills? Isn’t air part of the process?

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  5. avatar Dani Heart says:

    Elisa… I hope it does…the statistics say it does. :) Thank you for commenting. :)

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    • avatar Elisa Ashley says:

      I know what it says…but…I’m thinking of the compost pile here…none of that breaks down properly without being exposed to air. I suppose some non-organic things would get wet and break down underground…. I dunno. Not my forte!

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