In a recent video, an Instagram user shared a small way to reduce waste when eating in restaurants: bringing your own container to take home leftovers.
Instagrammer Krys Gier (@krystalynngier) shared her tip for reducing restaurant waste in a short video.
“How many times do you not finish what’s on your plate when you go to a restaurant?” she asks in the clip. “If you can remember, bring your own container instead of a plastic one that a waiter is gonna give you.”
It’s a simple idea: All you need to do is keep a personal container handy, whether it’s in your car or in a bag.
Gier admits that it can be a little challenging to remember her hack sometimes.
“I find that when I have a larger purse, I can just keep a Tupperware in there but when I wear my fanny pack sometimes I’ll forget it,” she wrote in the caption.
How It’s Helping
The personal container hack doesn’t immediately save you any money, but it’s still helpful for a number of reasons.
One reason is that many restaurant-provided leftover containers are made of Styrofoam or plastic that usually aren’t microwave-safe, which means you’ll have to transfer your food to a new dish if you want to reheat it. If you bring your own microwave-safe container, however, you can take it directly from the fridge to the microwave without adding any extra steps.
More importantly, though, bringing your own container helps reduce waste when you go out to eat. In 2018, researchers estimated that there were a total of 10 billion takeout orders serving 406 million people, which created 676 million pounds of waste — enough to fill more than 450 World Cup stadiums, according to WasteDive.
Since most takeout packaging is difficult to recycle and isn’t biodegradable, a large amount of that waste ends up in landfills.
What Everyone’s Saying
Commenters expressed their excitement over the hack.
“This is such a smart thing to do 🙌💚 I always eat all my food haha, but should bring a box to not over-eat 😅,” one commenter said.
“Love this tip! Genuinely don’t know why I’ve never thought to do this. I always take home leftovers lol,” commented another.
Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.