My mother has a drawer in the kitchen that is regularly overflowing with re-usable containers of all shapes and sizes. Everything from sandwich containers, Tupperware, salad containers, tiny containers that can fit nothing more than a few tablespoons of ketchup, and of course many re-used yoghourt and margarine containers. I typically refer to all of these containers as Tupperware. Unfortunately the lids always seem to get lost, broken, bent or squished in the back corner of the chaos. No amount of organizing seems to help the situation. Sometimes I have felt like giving up on the cupboard, especially in the morning when I am in a hurry to get to work and can be easily frustrated by mismatched lids. Nevertheless, I continue to frequent the drawer and now try to do so especially when going out to eat with friends, because I realized another socially responsible use for them.
I first got the idea of carrying along Tupperware in my purse when I was out to brunch with some of my fiance’s friends. After indulging in a glorious meal of pancakes, juicy thick French toast, fruits and coffee, I sat at the table, exhausted, just looking at that 3rd pancake I couldn’t get through. In fact, we all sat there, tired and full, staring at the remains left on our plate. Before we could call the waiter over for some take-away containers, one of the girls at the table pulled out her Tupperware from her slouch bag, and neatly packed up her last piece of French toast. She said she carries it around with her when she goes out to eat because 9 times out of ten, she has leftovers.
I am still working on being as diligent as this acquaintance of mine, in remembering to dip into that messy Tupperware drawer before I leave the house to go out to eat, but hopefully in time this will become a regular routine of mine and will help decrease the amount of disposable Styrofoam and plastic I consume, and subsequently, the amount that restaurants need to consume. Hopefully somewhere along the line, an animal is smiling because of this.
A note to restaurant owners: how about charging a small fee (i.e., $0.05) for take-out containers and encouraging people to bring their own re-usable Tupperware for takeout…both the restaurant and most importantly, the environment, will profit.