The way we eat is a huge contributor to unnecessary waste. Our busy lives mean we often end up opting to buy food on the go, along with this comes a large amount of packing and disposable utensils which are all too easy to overlook and mostly go un-recycled. Introducing small changes towards a sustainable future is something all of us can do day to day.
Here are a few quick and simple swaps you can make to zero waste your diet on the go!
Disposable coffee cups are huge source of waste worldwide. Although most of these cups are recyclable, research shows only 1% of the 2.5bn used every year in the UK are recycled. Add to that the fact that worldwide 100 billion are thrown away per year and those are some pretty concerning figures! Although MPs are now starting to notice this growing problem and make moves to tackle it, really the most effective way is for us to just stop using them!
Reusable coffee cups are a great alternative to the plastic-coated cardboard we are used to. many are made with Bamboo, Stainless Steel or Biodegradable Rice Husk. Ecoffee do a great Bamboo version! With these quick, easy and cheap alternative we can all do our bit!
The same also goes for plastic water bottles. With Londoners alone consuming 7.7bn plastic water bottles a year only 32% of which are recycled. It’s clear we need to find an alternative. Moves are being made towards establishing deposit return schemes to encourage recycling. But as we know most plastic bottles can only be recycled once this clearly won’t solve to problem.
The key is in providing free water sources for the public and encouraging the use of reusable bottles. Pret A Manger is currently trialling a scheme in its London Veggie Pret offering glass bottles for sale and access to free drinking water. We hope that others will soon follow suit. In the meantime Glass or Stainless Steel reusable bottles such the selection available from Klean Kanteen are a great and convenient way to keep hydrated.
Speaking of hydration another of the main culprits is the plastic straw! It’s estimated that over 500 million plastic straws are thrown away each day in the US alone. This is shocking when you think each straw is likely to only have been used for a few minutes! Luckily a number of companies are catching on to this and putting plastic straw bans into effect across their bars and cafes. There are also a wealth of companies making stainless steel, glass, and BPA free silicone straws which are widely available online. Eco Straws make a huge variety. Simply order your drinks without a straw and keep your reusable in your bag! Easy!
We’re all getting busier and more and more of us are eating on the go with healthy (and not so healthy) fast food options popping up all over. Although this quick-stop eating culture gives us a bit more time on our precious lunch breaks or helps sustain us when cooking at home just isn’t an option, the amount of disposable cutlery it generates is simply unsustainable! Do your bit by carrying your
Cloth napkins are a Zero Waste essential for eating on the go! Avoid paper napkins by asking your server not to give them to you when you order. It’s also important to note that once a paper napkin has been put on your table it cannot be passed onto another customer even if you don’t touch it. In this case, the best thing to do is to take it home and add it to your compost.
A great way to cut out most the waste mentioned above and more associated with eating on the go, such as sandwich boxes, plastic salad bowls, plastic film etc. Is to pack a lunchbox! When we think lunchbox most of us think of plastic Tupperware, which whilst reusable it is a good start, it will of course eventually end up in landfill. Next time you decide to replace yours why not go for a stainless-steel version? Traditional tiffin style boxes come with multiple layers and a carry handle, giving you enough space to build yourself a healthy and inspiring meal away from home!
We hope these eco friendly tips, which will help to save your money as well as the planet, have inspired you to change the way you eat out! When sustainable living looks this chic how could we not have? Stay tuned for more quick tips to Zero Waste your lifestyle. Now go forth and eat responsibly!