Every time my husband and I pick up trash in our neighborhood, we consistently find that 95% of the trash we pick up is from fast food, mostly cups. We can easily fill the trunk of my car within a mile radius. It’s frustrating. I wish there were some way to hold these fast food companies accountable for their own waste instead of companies blaming us for their cradle-to-grave package designs. Until such legislation exists, we have to hold ourselves accountable.
Not only is fast food unhealthy, it creates a ton of garbage! Just think, in one visit alone the food will come wrapped in paper, shoved into a plastic bag or paper sack that is stuffed with paper napkins, plastic straws, plastic cutlery, and plastic wrapped condiments. And these items are only used for a very, very short amount of time. After you’re done eating, you toss all of that packaging right into the trash can. Did you know the biggest contributor to the waste (49%) floating in the oceans is from fast food? I know if you are accustomed to eating fast food several times in a week that completely eliminating it might be rather difficult so, lessening it is still a win. Instead of fast food, opt for wholesome meals with lots of fruits and veggies. You will find that better food comes in less packaging and you’ll feel better too!
Now, I understand that many of us live busy lives and sometimes, eating out is the only option. In that case, be prepared to create as little disposable waste as possible. Use your own reusable cup for drinks, ask to eat in rather than take your food to go, have the restaurant put your food in your own containers, or simply ensure that the disposable packaging you use doesn’t get sent to the landfill by composting or recycling it.
For more tips and information about reducing your fast food waste, check out “How to Reduce Your Fast Food Trash,” from The Environmentals.