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Clean and Plain
Valérie Dufort-Roy | Klish Way

What’s for dinner? The choices for takeout are plentiful in and around Del Mar. In 20 minutes, one can be home with a warm meal, feed a happy family, and end the day on a good note. Hold on! You probably are also coming home with a stack of cheap napkins, plastic utensils and plastic or cardboard containers that will be tossed in the trash in another hour, or worst, the infamous Styrofoam containers, which will live forever in the landfill and contribute to global warming by generating methane.

As we become aware of the environmental repercussions caused by convenience, eco-responsible solutions are emerging and are worth exploring. Here is how my family has been approaching takeout, lately.

At the coffee shop, it is easy to hand out your own reusable cup. While you hold on to the lid, your cup will be sanitized with pipping hot water before pouring in the drink. The largest coffee chain gives a 10c discount when using your own cup, including at the drive-thru! Do not hesitate to decline the disposable cup for soda. “Is it ok if I use my own cup?” has yielded consistent acquiescence from local restaurants.

The County of San Diego is offering the following advice, when dining out:

• Bring your own containers to the restaurant to take home leftovers.
• Ask the restaurant to leave out plastic utensils when getting take out.
• Bring your own refillable mug to the coffee shop.
• Skip the plastic lid and straw on cups when possible.

My family has been successfully using reusable takeout-shaped containers. Preserve and G.E.T. Eco-Takeouts offer a variety of 1-3 compartments containers, microwavable, dishwasher safe that are perfect to replicate the traditional takeout containers. We have been welcomed to use them in Del Mar and surroundings for sushi, tacos, salads, kebobs, pasta, and more.

In 2019, UCSD had a pilot project with similar containers for 500 participants, at the John Muir facilities. Portland and San Francisco use Go Box, a company offering for customers to pay a monthly subscription for the use of reusable containers, which they can check out at 100 participating restaurants, using a mobile app. When they’re done eating, they can drop off their container at a designated site for Go Box to collect, wash, and redistribute to its vendors.

Could our small Del Mar town benefit from a similar initiative?





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