Just Ask

Many businesses default to using disposable goods. They routinely shell out paper napkins, plastic forks, straws. Coffee cups (and lids and sleeves and stirrers and sugar packets) are generally single-use items. Going out to eat or visiting a favorite neighborhood spot is such an enjoyable experience, but the waste many establishments create is worrisome.

Instead of accepting the single-use serving pieces that come your way, my tip is to just ask. Just ask your server or barista with a smile and a thank you if they'd be able to serve your food and drink using reusable dishes. Even if they usually use paper goods, I find that most businesses do keep glasses and other servingware around. I'm almost never turned down, and I love enjoying my meal more sustainably.

The above picture shows a tasty smoothie from Anodyne Coffee Roasters in Milwaukee, who graciously complied with my request to use a glass instead of a paper cup. I savored it sitting at the counter, chatting with the barista dressed like Kramer from Seinfeld (it was Halloween, after all).