Whether you’re taking home leftovers from your restaurant meal or getting your favorite food as takeout, you can avoid using disposable containers.
Hundreds of millions of pounds of disposable takeout containers end up in landfills every year. While some restaurants are making the crucial move away from Styrofoam and conventional plastic—offering compostable bio plastics and paper instead—these alternative products are currently very expensive and still represent an unnecessary waste of resources in their manufacture.
There are many non-toxic, durable and convenient reusable products on the market today that are designed to replace single-use takeout containers. The best choices are BPA-free, and also free of phthalates and lead.
If you drive a car, keep a few containers in the boot, along with your reusable grocery shopping bags. Otherwise, you can leave them by your front door so you can easily remember to take them along when you head out to eat.
Collapsible bowls are convenient, reusable alternatives to single-use takeout containers. As the name suggests, they store flat, making them the easiest to bring with you. Each bowl expands to a sturdy, full-size container and collapses to around one-third its original size for easy transport and storage.
Lock & Lock
The Lock & Lock reusable container sets feature airtight/waterproof silicone seals with a four-hinge locking system that prevents leakage and keeps your food fresh. Each set comes with three containers, which nest within one another to save space.
Thermos Food Jar’s Thermax® vacuum insulation keeps your food or drink hot or cold for hours. Its simple, classic design is a basic tool for waste-free takeout. Perfect for soups, stews, curries and more. The double-wall vacuum insulation keeps contents cold for up to 7 hours or hot for up to 5 hours. The outer surface stays cool to touch when the contents are hot, and sweat-proof with cold contents
The tiffin box, a common lunchbox used in India, is an excellent way to keep your food neatly separated, and is easy to carry and clean. Made of stainless steel, tiffins are reusable, lightweight and have built in lids that double as plates. They are an elegant and functional example of how we can avoid plastic entirely.
Bring your own cup
Next time you stop for a coffee or tea, consider that approximately 363 million pounds of disposable coffee cups end up in landfills every year in the United States alone. Thankfully, you can easily opt out of using paper cups by bringing your own mug. This is a simple change that anyone can make without much effort or investment.
“I am not a paper cup” is a reusable porcelain cup with a silicone lid. It’s double walled and dishwasher safe. The Eco-Cup is another option, and is available in attractive patterns.
For cold drinks, consider the Eco Cold Drink Cup. It holds 16 ozs of your favorite iced beverage, has double-walled insulation that will keep your drink cooler longer and it comes with a reusable straw.
Learn more about avoiding waste
Here’s a complete dining guide for Point Reyes California, and the Tomales Bay area.