It never fails to irk me: Each time I order soup to-go from my favorite lunch spot, I wind up kicking myself on the way back out the door for, once again, forgetting to request that I be spared the dozen or so extra napkins and the plastic utensil packets in my bag. Back at home, I attempt to reuse what's reusable, but let's face it - most of it just winds up tossed away.
Though I sometimes remember this eco-friendly caveat to my order, it never occurred to me that maybe the restaurant should take it upon itself to ask diners if they require all that extra stuff in the first place. When this idea finally dawned on me, I had something of a green a-ha moment, as Oprah might say. Next time I head to my soup spot, I'll be filling out a comment card or two.
The folks at Ideal Bite think that we should all take it upon ourselves to ask for what we want in the way of greener practices at our favorite restaurants by filling out a comment card, writing a letter or just speaking up the next time we dine out. One of IB's daily emails last week highlighted a few of their favorite recommendations:
- Serving water only upon request
- Using local, organic ingredients were possible
- Stocking biodegradable takeout utensils and containers
- Opting for green cleaning products
- Installing motion detectors in bathrooms so lights don't stay on 24-7
- Offering waste cooking oil to local biodiesel drivers
I love this list, and I think my eco-piphany of asking take-out customers whether or not they require napkins and utensils (or even bags, for that matter) is a good addition. Thanks, Ideal Bite. Here's to speaking up or writing it down the next time you eat out!