Eating Green: Where You Eat is as Important as What You Eat
What you eat matters a lot to the environment, but people who are environmentally concerned also need to look at where they eat. The most environmentally friendly meals are usually the ones served at home, but what if you like to go out. A look at some considerations.
Fast Food Places
Fast food places are one of the worst places to eat in terms of thinking of the environment. Some fast food places make food they know they will not sell, just to have food ready when people come in. Most of all look at the container your food arrives in. Often a Styrofoam box. Some fast food places are now using cardboard, or paper containers, but those still go to the landfill, usually in plastic bags.
To reduce your environmental impact when eating at a fast food place, try brining your own reusable mug for drinks. Do not take more packages of ketchup, etc., than you need. Ideally reduce the number of times you eat at fast food places.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gabrielamadeus/3402378549/ This food was found in a dumpster in Portland.
The drive thru is typically always less environmentally friendly than going inside to order. Not only is the food placed into an additional bag, but cars often sit idling for long periods of time while ordering and receiving the food. Drive thrus may waste things by giving you napkins, ketchup, plastic knives and forks, and so forth, that may not be needed if you are going home to eat.
To reduce your environmental impact, its best to park and go inside to get your food, and make note of what you need and do not need if you are going to take the food with you. Again, using your own reusable mug is best.
Take Out or Delivery Pizza
This might surprise you. This particular food item is fairly environmentally friendly. Although the oven being used is bad, they typically cook many pizzas at any given time. Most use cardboard boxes, which can be recycled. As most Pizza places of this nature do not have large seating areas the building has a lower space impact on the environment.
To reduce your environmental impact, pick pizza from a place that is close to your home to reduce emissions from delivery vehicles. Arrange to pick up your own pizza on route as you drive home from work.