Sunday, September 6, 2009

I'm Back . . . I Think

I know I've been absent from the blogosphere for awhile. I could try to tell you what my life's been like lately, but I wonder if anyone would believe it! Anyway, I think I'm back and, in fact, will have a book review and giveaway tomorrow.

I've been missing the Change the World Challenges, but just wanted to comment on this week's challenge from Reduce Footprints. This week's challenge is to forego all manner of styrofoam containers. This reminds me of an episode of the TV sitcom, Murphy Brown. Murphy does a story on the environment that's so moving, everyone on the show vows not to do anything "ungreen" for a week. This was a progressive message in the late '80s and early '90s. Anyway, one night Murphy works late and is starving. She orders a sandwich delivered from the local bar, Phil's, and is dismayed when it's delivered in a styrofoam box. She struggles with the decision for several minutes, before refusing delivery of the sandwich.

That episode really stuck with me (obviously). So much so that a couple of months ago, I couldn't take the guilt that accompanied my doggie bag from a restaurant. Although I don't believe in wasting food, I also couldn't "stomach" the styrofoam take out container. The solution? I keep a bag of reusable Rubbermaid containers in my car (with my cloth grocery bags). Whenever I need a "to go" box from a restaurant, I get one out of my car and scrape my food into it.

The first time I used my containers, I was a little self conscious. When the waiter saw what I was doing, he informed me he and his wife have been doing the same thing when they go out for the last year! I felt like such a Johnny-come-lately. So now I'm not even remotely self-conscious about it. It just provides me with another opportunity to be an "ambassador for environmentalism". It gives me a chance to talk to the waitstaff, my dining companions or other patrons of the restaurant about green living in a non-judgmental way. Non-judgmental? Oh yeah, did I mention the Rubbermaid containers I use are bright pink with Hello Kitty on them ($1 for 2 at Target)? This not only attracts attention and starts conversations, but allows me to use humor and make fun of myself while getting the message out! ;-)

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