Would you buy something overpriced to use a few minutes or seconds? Most likely not. But if the planet pays the bill – we don’t really care about that. Think, for example, of all the plastic crockery and bottles we use in a year.
They can remain in the environment for up to 450 years, before running the risk of becoming microplastics and reaching our seas. At that point they absorb toxic contaminants that end up being ingested by the fish that we eat in turn.
Using them sparingly or rather, eliminating them completely, not only at home but also in restaurants and bars we attend every day could therefore make a difference. So here are some ideas on what we could do to pollute less even when we have lunch and dinner out.
May I Have a (Real) Plate, Please?
We abuse plastic tableware, especially during aperitifs, but we could try asking for ceramic or glass. Washable dishes, in fact, do not impact on the oceans because they do not create waste. As a result, the first rule to pollute less is really not to throw anything away.
If there really isn’t any glass or ceramic plate, a disposable, yet environmentally friendly alternative is compostable tableware. In this way we could help to significantly reduce the number of plastic tableware we consume each. Just think that each persons uses about 230 plates, glasses, cutlery per year.
Cup? Glass (or ceramic), please
Another major problem is the widespread use of plastic cups and glasses. When you have coffee, therefore, it is important to always ask for a glass or ceramic cup. Avoid plastic take-away cups, especially if the waiters bring you coffee from the café to the office. It is better to take an extra trip to take the cups back to where you got them, rather than produce waste.
Always Tap Water
The volumes of waste produced by plastic bottles are impressive and paradoxical when you consider that tap water is usually controlled and good to drink everywhere. That’s why other good practice is to ask for tap water outside the home as well. On the other hand, 15% of beach waste consists of beverage bottles and caps.
No straw for me, they pollute!
Another disposable item that we overuse, and without actually needing it, is the straw. In fact, restaurant owners often give us straws without even asking for them, and they are completely useless. For this reason, it is important to refuse straws every time we are offered them. If you really need them, buy a reusable metal or silicone straw to take with you at all times.
Pollute Less with Seasonal or Organic food
They are the richest in vitamins and minerals, have more flavor and do not need illuminated and heated greenhouses to grow. That’s how much we – and the environment – earn by choosing dishes with seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Although restaurateurs do not have to indicate whether their raw materials are organic or not, we can always ask. It could be a way to sponge them. Because even the choice of organic is crucial not to pollute. In fact, these foods are grown without pesticides, and grow at the pace of nature.