Saturday, October 16, 2010

What's Greener? Take-out vs. Eat-in

Part of our vitality is the earth's vitality.  How we treat ourselves is often a reflection of how we treat the earth.  The people who recycle and compost are unsurprisingly people who also take care of themselves through their diet and lifestyle.  From my observations, the "hippie-ness" of someone is highly correlated to the amount of love for the earth someone has.  I don't think it's a coincidence that the weather for the past couple decades have been off kilter.  Global warming is a reflection of our society.  Not just in how we are physically abusing the earth but also how we are polluting it with our mindsets.  Our focuses on making money, being innovative, and being gluttonous have heavily contributed to the condition of the earth.
As I improved my diet (moving to more local, plant foods) and started meditating, I definitely noticed that I feel more connected to and appreciative of nature.  For that reason, I thought I'd post occasionally on how we can become greener.  I'm going to state upfront that I'm not expert on the environment but want to grow more awareness of it through this blog.
Today I wanted to talk about eating out. From a nutritional standpoint, it is always better to make your own meals and eat at home (or eat at someone else's home cooked food at their home).  But we live in a busy world where sometimes that's not an option and also splurging on a meal that you don't have to cook for yourself is nice.  Did you know that thirty-two percent of meals in the US are eaten outside of the home?  That's about one a day.  That's not to say 68% are cooked at home.  A large percentage if that number includes take-out meals. 
I admit that I like the occassional take-out from the local Thai restaurant.  On one of my visits, I thought about take-out vs. eat-in and which is greener.  To me, all of the steps taken to take-out or eat-in are all the same except the use of take-out containers.  This is the factor that, in my opinion, makes eating in a restaurant more green than eating take-out at home (unless you bring your own containers).  So be greener and eat in the restaurant instead of taking out.
What are you thoughts on taking out vs. eating in?  Any tips on being greener?

1 comment:

  1. Hey Lisa,

    I'm just reading this now, but it's something I think about a ton! When talking about visiting a restaurant and eating there vs. taking the food home with you, I agree, the take-out containers are the big difference. If you think about it, at the restaurant you are using their plates and silverware, etc, which they will wash and reuse as opposed to take out containers and plastic cutlery which are most likely one-time use items. It's the little things like this that can really add up to make a difference in the health of the planet. The materials that the take-out containers are made of are important too. Some places have plastic containers that you can either recycle or (better yet) wash and re-use. Some truly awesome restaurants have biodegradable containers! I've gone so far as to stop ordering from places that use styrofoam since that is just really bad for both our own and environmental health.

    Anyways, good post and yay for green thinking!