How many of us catch lunch or dinner when we can? Are you driving up to the drive-in window more than you like to due to a hectic job, children with multiple activities or caring for family members? Does the person at the other end of the microphone recognize your voice?
Sadly, the local Burger King knew my voice when my kids were younger.
I find myself in this situation many times during the week. I know. Eating at fast food places is not the greenest or healthiest places to eat. Sometimes, it is just unavoidable. How can you possibly interject a little green into a fast food situation? Well, if there is a hamburger, there is a way.
Save those Straws
Slowly over the years I started saving parts of the dinner or lunch packages since I realize how much I was contributing to the landfills. First, I started collecting straws. I would use them to mark where I planted my bulbs so I could figure out which ones did not grow.
(See my picture of the straws in my beds.) My neighbor remarked the other day that my plants seemed to be sprouting early. I chuckled and told her that those were straws marking my plant bulbs.
How About all Those Paper Bags that Come with the Happy Meal?
Next, I started saving the paper bags. I would put them in my recycling bin. Afterwards, the plastic forks and knives started looking pretty good. I would rewash them and reuse them, and subsequently, I would never have to buy plastic utensils again.
What about all the Plastic Silverware?
When you come to my house, as a guest, you will hear me say, “please do not throw out the plastic. I rewash them.” My party utensil holder reflects the new chic green colors of beige and white rather than the uniform color of all white utensils. Perhaps I will start a trend?
Update. In fact, I started using the utensils for seed markers since I could write on the top part. I can’t tell you what a lifesaver this idea has become. Now, I know what I planted.
Don’t Forget About All those Napkins
What about the napkins? Ever notice how many napkins you get in your bag? Enough to wipe your face ten times! I keep those too now in a drawer rather than throw them away with my meal. Dinner time now has an international theme of all the different shaped napkins and colors.
How about Reusing the Foil?
Last year, I was thinking of saving the foil that goes around the hamburger and chicken sandwiches to put around the base of my tomatoes. Aphids hide on the underside of your plants. They don’t like light. The aluminum foil will reflect the light upward so they would leave. Has anyone tried this trick?
And the Worse Environmental Offender. The Plastic Containers
The worse offender has to be the plastic containers. I am a salad eater. You always get a plastic bowl and plastic top. Obviously, you could save them and reuse them for leftover foods, except all the new reports are scaring me to death about using plastic to store my food. Instead of figuring out if this plastic is okay, in my hurry I was just throwing it out.
Stop those Cutworms
Since I have been gardening, I started looking at the plastic containers in a new light. How can I reuse those containers? First, I started cutting out the tops to use around my plants to supposedly stop cut worms from harming my plants. I thought it would stop the white moths from laying their eggs all over my broccoli. Well, the moths laughed at my funny idea, and sprinkled anyways.
But what about using the containers as little greenhouses? I noticed when I planted my seeds in the bowls with the plastic on top, they germinated so much better. Once the seedlings sprouted I would take the cover off.
Under my Plants
Lately I have been bring in my plants during the winter. However, I needed plastic bottoms for the pots to catch the water. Guess what? Those salad bowls work great and are a real conversation item when people see them.
Most of all, only take what you need. Who needs hundred of ketchup packages if you only intend to use a few?
Join the Conversation
- So, how have you reused your fast food containers?
- Any suggestions on the chicken nugget containers? French Fry containers?
- Do you simply recycle what you can?