3 Ways to Avoid Trash When Eating Out

Here are three simple ways to avoid waste when you eat out. If you're new to the zero waste lifestyle, remember to take one step at a time. The more we become aware of our waste the more attention we can bring to each of these steps. There's no perfection either! We don't live in a zero waste economy! We still design and approach consumer goods with the idea of waste, so trash will sometimes happen! 


Scan your surroundingS:

This method has always been super helpful for me. When I'm eating out a new place I do a quick scan when I arrive to see what the restaurant is using. Are there straws in all the water glasses? Plastic utensils? Styrofoam take home containers? By taking a few seconds to scan at the tables, I can get a quick overview of what I need to refuse right when I sit down. 


Refusing is always the sure fire way to keep waste away. The easiest and most typical item to refuse when eating out are plastic straws. Did you know that 500 million plastic straws are used every single day in the U.S. alone? And none of them are being recycled. Many times when you ask for no straw with your drink at a restaurant or bar, you still might get one. So don't worry if you ask for no straw and they still bring one out to you. It's the intent that matters most. Other items to refuse are plastic utensils, disposable cups, extra napkins, and take out containers. 

Bring Your Own:

No matter where I go I always have a few of my durable reusable items with me. These items help me to refuse the needless single-use disposable wastes that can be created. Here are some of the typical items I carry with me:

  • Small folding spork
  • 16 oz mason jar  (also can doubles for hot/cold drinks, snack container, and for leftovers)
  • Small stainless steal container
  • Stainless steal straw
  • Cloth produce bag

You can purchase all of the above at The Zero Market