Dec 6, 2020
How to Bring More Joy to Your Food Ordering Routine
Think about the last time you ordered in for lunch or dinner. When the meal was over and it came time to toss out the food containers, how did that feel? To borrow Marie Kondo’s expression: Did the plastic clamshells, fiber bowls, pizza boxes, disposable forks and paper napkins spark joy?
The experience of dining in should be joyful from beginning to end. But all that waste creates guilt. In New York City, we go through 326 million pounds of disposable foodware from food takeout and delivery every year. Only half of those materials are recyclable.
We pay for this waste in multiple ways: The taxpayer cost of hauling it from our sidewalks; the energy and natural resources needed to produce single-use foodware; the cost to restaurants of sourcing these materials; the greenhouse gases from plastic production. And of course, the emotional drag this causes every time we order.
Designing Out Waste
At Just Salad, we’re constantly working to remove this waste-related emotional burden. In fact, we’ve been working at it since 2006, with the launch of our reusable bowl program. Since its debut, the program has managed to save tens of thousands of pounds of single-use plastic containers from our landfills. And more recently, we’ve adjusted our online ordering platform, asking guests to opt-in for plastic utensils only when they need it, thereby making “no utensils” the default option. Because frivolous waste weighs on us, and our guests, alike.
On the pickup and delivery side, we’re testing new approaches. Recently our Park Slope store partnered with the zero-waste delivery platform DeliverZero. When you order, you’ll receive your salad in a reusable container, which you can return to your DeliverZero courier the next time you order. Or, bring it back to any participating DeliverZero restaurant (where it will be professionally washed and sanitized).
Try it and see how much lighter it feels. The more you do it, the better it gets.
The More You Do It, the Better it Gets
Like a true New Yorker, you probably order takeout, say 2 times a week. And over the course of a year, that’s roughly 108 disposable food containers for one person. Imagine how much waste you’d save if all 108 orders arrived in a single reusable container. Sure, that durable, dishwasher safe, reusable container has a carbon footprint, too. But, after only a handful of orders, the emissions from reuse are drastically lower than the carbon emissions from continuing to eat with disposable containers. And so the key to reducing your impact is to make zero-waste dining a frequent habit––something you do not just once, but every time you order.
The moment I stopped using disposable food containers, I felt a sense of serenity and lightness. I had enjoyed a restaurant meal at home, but my waste bin was no heavier for it. From beginning to end, ordering in feels so much lighter.
Share your thoughts on zero-waste dining by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or share photos of your zero-waste ordering habit by tagging us on Instagram @justsalad. Order today at www.justsalad.com.
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