In a Pinch

Zero waste this weekend

Sometimes zero waste looks like bread wrapped up in a slightly crumpled napkin and soup toted home in a thermos more typically used for hot tea. Despite my own advice, I don't always have the right zero waste tools with me. I'll think, "Every time we go to X restaurant I never have leftovers, so I don't need to bring a to-go container this time." And then said restaurant is closed and we end up at another spot and my meal is much bigger than I would have thought, and you know how it goes.

On Sunday, a quick coffee run turned into lunch, and before I knew it I had a bowl of soup I wasn't planning to finish and no containers to bring it home in. Or no traditional containers to bring it home in. Luckily though, I had a water bottle with me, and unconventional though it is, I spooned the soup into it, wrapped the bread up in the paper napkin that came alongside it, and voila, easy (albeit strange) zero waste leftovers.

Friends and I have joked about the number of times we've eaten too much rather than let food go to waste. Though I try to remember to bring my zero waste restaurant kit with my when I go out to eat, it's a balancing act between bringing what I need and not bringing what I don't. Like many city-dwellers, I don't have a car, so I walk or take public transportation everywhere. If I want to bring something with me, I have to carry it - and carrying too much can turn a lovely walk into a long slog. Sometimes I gamble by not bringing a to-go container with me and it works out, sometimes I gamble and lose, sometimes (like Sunday), I gamble and in a pinch come up with a solution that's not elegant but is good enough.

I ate my leftover soup and toast yesterday for lunch, and I was grateful I'd brought it home instead of letting it languish at the restaurant. Sometimes you don't have the right tools for the job, but you have a tool, and it's good enough. What recent "in a pinch" victories have you had lately?