There are many ways that Americans enjoy themselves. Any night of the week, you can find your fellow Americans out at the movies, dining in their favorite restaurants, catching a new flick at the local movie theater and more. The next time you are enjoying your favorite form of entertainment, think about the waste you are creating too. Take the steps you can to reduce your waste and still have a great time on your night out on the town. Here are five easy ways you can get started.
We’ve all had it happen. We can’t eat all of our meal at a restaurant and we ask for a box. They bring the biggest box you’ve ever seen and you only have about a fistful of food to take home. Ask for the smallest to go container they have that’ll still fit your food. There is no need to kill the environment just because you want to much out on your leftovers for a late night snack. Even if you aren’t going to eat your leftovers, take them home anyway. Feed the pet-friendly ones to the dog or use it in your compost pile. It’ll reduce 12% of food scraps that wind up in landfills.
I’m guilty of this and have to make myself stop and think about how many napkins I really need. Resist the urge to grab a huge handful of paper napkins the next time you at your favorite fast food restaurant (or anywhere else for that matter). As Americans, we use 2,200 of these napkins per year. If everyone cut their use by one napkin, we could save an amount of paper napkins in landfills that could fill the Empire State Building. That’s a lot of napkins!
From airplane tickets to movie and show performanc tickets, buy them online and print them on your home or office computer. The printer paper you use in your printer is recyclable, while the paperboard used for tickets is not. After you get in the door, these tickets wind up in the trash. It’s a small step to save over 1.4 billion movie tickets going to waste each year.
Save 60 million water bottles from being thrown away each year and drink tap water when you eat out (and at home). The water that comes out of your tap is regulated and safe to drink.
We eat 17 billion quarts of popcorn each year and 30% of this popcorn winds up in our bellies at the movies, sporting events, and amusement parks. It’s not about the popcorn itself, but the paper containers the popcorn tends to come in. If half of us shared our popcorn instead of getting our own individual container, we’d save paper packaging for more than 2.5 billion quarts.
It’s not about changing your whole life. It’s about doing what you can.