Climate solutions,  Enviro-tips

Make a Mess Kit

Carry your own travel mug, real fork, and bowl, so that you can reach beyond single-use “disposable” items.

Why this is important

All those paper plates, styrofoam cups, and plastic forks take energy (and related greenhouse gas emissions) – to harvest the raw materials (biocapacity issues), transport them to the manufacturing facility, to form them into the end product, to package them, to transport them to a warehouse and then to a store, to transport them to home or office. Whew!

Then, people use them once and throw them “away.” Which means they get hauled via truck (more transportation, fossil fuels, and global-warming emissions), to be sealed into a toxic landfill someplace in a neighborhood which doesn’t have political power to say “no way!” There the wasted resources will sit for hundreds of years.

And, don’t be fooled by so-called “compostable” plastics. Research what they break down into – I wouldn’t want that junk in my garden! Meanwhile, the shift to so-called “compostables” only perpetuates a use-it-once-and-throw-it-away attitude.

In the bigger sense of things, we can do much better with how we treat the earth’s precious resources. Reduce and reuse is the direction of the future!

What you can do

Find a favorite travel mug. You probably already have one (if not, check the thrift store). Grab a fork or a spoon, and a plastic picnic bowl, or one of those re-sealable storage containers.

Wrap it all in a dishtowel or cloth napkin, and slide it in your briefcase or backpack. You’re all ready to go.

When it’s time for coffee, use your own mug instead of accepting the store’s paper cup (some coffee chains even offer a discount!).

With your mess kit all packed, you can easily say “no” to single use.