I had the opportunity to gain some insight from Lisa Borden, owner of Borden Communications and the founder of the TakeOut WithOut Campaign to reduce restaurant waste. This campaign recognizes that every little bit counts, and we can’t aim for perfection, but we can aim for improvement by saying NO to unnecessary packaging and toting our own reusables. TakeOutWithOut encourages you to enjoy your food, save your money, improve your health and help our planet. Borden looks forward every day to challenging people’s thinking, and starting dialogues that will result in success, and us making this world a better place together.
Borden considers recycling to be incredibly important, but it’s by no means the best we can do. She explains, “Recycling simply does not justify using or buying single-use disposables. I created the TakeOut WithOut Campaign to raise awareness about the amount of unnecessary waste that we’re creating, especially around food and takeout. Our campaign focuses on, what’s in our opinion, more important R’s.” This is the TakeOut WithOut creed:
ReFuse Unnecessary Stuff
When taking out food from a restaurant, refuse the unnecessary packaging! Think about the spoons, forks, straws, and napkins that you get served at restaurants (why do they give you enough for a family of 20 when eating alone?). Ask yourself before accepting all these items, “Do I really need all of this?”, “Am I going to be eating this right away?” (If so, why take the bag or the napkins)… just enjoy your muffin – and be neat so the napkin isn’t needed!
ReTake Your Own Reusables
Bring your own reusables (BYOR) and you won’t need to use the can – garbage, that is. Bring your own containers, straws, cutlery, mugs, bottles, and even your own bag – It’s so easy to find and use!
ReConsider Your Habits
It’s easy to fall into a routine, so why not choose to create a new one? Reconsider and readjust your habits and adopt healthier eating strategies – it might be challenging at first – but it will save you time, money, your health, and our world. The bonus? You’ll feel like an eco-hero and will inspire others around you to follow suit.
As far as the #1 way to reduce waste, Borden recommends, “Simply start by paying attention to the amount of stuff you’re personally consuming and disposing, so much of which lasts longer in the landfills than the amount of time we actually use it for. This alone will probably outrage you enough to start making change (because isn’t that how change is made?).
The other thing is to leave the house prepared – leave a couple foldable, reusable bags in your car, bring your own reusable food containers when you’re picking up takeout, and fill (and re-fill) your own reusable water bottle when you’re on the go. You’d be surprised how much waste you can reduce just by planning ahead.
What You Can Do
Together we will reduce waste dramatically and will be raising awareness to the outrageous amount of unnecessary waste we create everyday. In addition to the tips above, visit the Downloads page to find wallet cards, posters and more to print off, post up and pass on.