Friday, May 2, 2008

Greening "To Go" Containers

Warmer weather is finally here, and with it a happy preponderance of food carts at lunch time on the Library Mall here. Indonesian, Jamaican, Ethiopian food — it’s a vegetarian delight for me, with plenty of carnivorous offerings, too. Since I’m trying to be greener, I’m also noticing how much styrofoam and other trashed plastics these lunchtime al fresco adventures generate. Students at Florida’s Eckerd College now have an alternative: a returnable clamshell take-out container. For just a $5 sign-up fee (covering all 4 years of college) students can join a program to check out an Eco-Clamshell whenever they want take-out. When they return to the dining commons, they just place the dirty take-out container on a dish washing conveyor belt and pick up a clean one for their next meal. It’s a closed loop system (and when the containers eventually wear out, they're 100% recyclable), affordable, and the brainchild of recent Eckerd grad Audrey Copeland, who saw the problem from a student perspective and set out to find a solution. Thank-you to Eco-Space Conscious Community for turning me on to the Eco-Clamshell story.

Today’s mitzvah: How can you green your take-out container? I’m going to try out new options with my favorite food cart: asking them to consider non-styro contaners and also bringing my own reusbales. Check out Laptop Lunches sustainable Bento Boxes, which the delightful Ms. Pamela found for us!

Photo credit: Eric Fortman, copyright © 2008 Eckerd College


Finn said...

I like that idea! It will save a lot of waste if implemented. Food courts in malls need this so badly!

jen x said...

Thanks, Finn! So many of these places get daily repeat business -- I think this could work!

Frances said...

I remember how happy I was when McDonalds went from styrofoam to paper.
Thanks for sharing.
Found you on BlogExplosion

jen x said...

Thanks, Frances. Love your blog! I'm a displaced New Yorker and the photos are awesome :-)