Reducing waste (and still enjoying fast food)

If you think this is another post condemning your actions and trying to guilt you, think again!

We are ALL part of this modern world, with uber convenience at every corner. I’m the first to admit I buy into this convenience at times - getting a coffee from Second Cup at work, or picking up the pre-roasted chicken on my way home from work.

Fast Food-3.jpg

But having been an eco-activist since early childhood, I also make great effort to be conscious of how every single one of my actions can affect Mother Earth. And with recent news that we are coming closer to annihilation, I’m feeling a greater need to speak out and encourage those of us who maybe JUST DON’T KNOW how to make a difference (and I realize that true change is going to need to come from giant companies who are responsible for this mess….but we can still take action, and apply as much pressure as we can!)

In CBC’s recent post, it was found that about half of the plastic trash found on Canadian shorelines could be traced back five companies: Nestlé, Tim Hortons, PepsiCo, the Coca-Cola Company and McDonald's.

Now, I get y’all love your double double and Big Macs. I’m not here to tell you to stop drinking/eating at these establishments (although if you WANTED to boycott, that would also be truly awesome) However, if you’re eating at fast food joints, here are a few tips for making a real difference in the waste you generate.

Waste Reduction Tips

  • Refuse the bag: honestly, you don’t need your food wrapped up, and then placed in a bag. Just ask them to hand over the sandwich and no one gets hurt.

  • Bring your own reusable mug: please…just do this. It’s so simple. Go to store. Buy a mug. Bring it with you every time you go out. Same with a stainless steel water bottle. Make it a daily habit that you are always carrying these vital pieces.

  • Specify you are eating in: some places (Tim Horton’s) will serve your soup or coffee in….gasp….actual dishes!!!

  • LEAVE NO TRACE: remember that camping rule? When you’re out in the wild, you are supposed to leave no trace that you ever visited, which means you pack your garbage to go. You can do the same at fast food restaurants!! I always pack up our garbage and sort it when I get home. Cardboard can be recycled and paper food packaging and food waste can be composted (yes, you heard right….if it’s dirty paper or cardboard, it goes in the green bin!) Some coffee cups can even go in the green bin if they’re not coated in plastic.

Leaving without a trace is not as messy as you think. Most food can be sealed up in containers, which you can tuck into your bag or purse. If something is truly gross (like ketchup) I will use the garbage at the restaurant….but I make this a last resort.

So go forth and eat your greasy food. But please, for the love of our Earth…do it with a conscience!! Remember - your kids are watching you and learning from your actions.