Greener By Degrees

I was thinking today about the subtle changes I’ve made over time to my eating routine at work.

Last year I switched to using a mug instead of getting styrofoam cups from the cafeteria, and then to using metal silverware instead of disposable plasticware.

Recently I switched to a cloth napkin instead of paper ones.

Compared to what I was using before, just this year alone, I have saved:

* 200 styrofoam cups
* 100 plastic forks
* 100 plastic spoons
* 100 plastic knives
* 75 paper napkins

At home, I still use paper towels for napkins (though I have the half-size ones) – I have enough cloth napkins that I could use them at home, too.

When I have a frozen dinner, I recycle the cardboard box it came in, and rinse off and recycle the plastic tray the food was on.

It’s all worked out well so far, I actually find a mug, metal silverware, and a cloth napkin actually are more enjoyable to use… makes me think of the “Finer Things Club” from the show The Office, where they get together once a week and use real plates and silverware to eat lunch.

My only gripe is that the cloth napkins I got are cotton, when I wash them they get all wrinkly, and they are a bit rough. Maybe I’ll try some other fabrics.

I still throw out a styrofoam container every weekday, since that is what they serve the food in at the cafeteria. If you order something like a sandwich, you can get it in a plastic tray/basket, which they wash and reuse, but if you get something with sauce or dressing, then pretty much your only option is a styrofoam container.

I could bring in a container, but since I get a salad on most days, and salad is priced based on weight, using my own container would actually cost me more money, since it would weigh more than styrofoam.

One thought on “Greener By Degrees”

  1. own container at salad bar

    I’ve brought my own container in to use at the salad bar. I just had it pre-measured before I put any food in it. Then when I check out I ask them to deduct that amount. In my case it’s an even $0.30, so it’s fairly easy to figure out. -Ben

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