Cutting Styrofoam, Increasing Stares

Matt’s buddy Phil clued me in to the blog No Impact Man back when he was living in a Viking-style A-frame tent in our backyard and I was recovering from a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (I had my gall bladder removed in 2007). That blog put the bug in my ear about phasing out our use of that most evil of unrecyclables: StyrofoamTM. (Note: StyrofoamTM, like Kleenex, is a trademarked product which has become the generic name for everything like it. Styrofoam is expanded polystyrene foam, but not all expanded polystyrene foam is StyrofoamTM.) I remember reading in the first month or so of that blog that Colin Beavan, the blogger, brings reusable containers to restaurants for his leftovers, despite the pointing and whispers of other customers.

I decided that if I was going through with it myself and I was going to keep these things forever, I’d better like ’em, so I inspected and passed over a bijillion of them until I found the Sterilite model pictured above. Though not a perfect match, it comes very close to the size and shape of a Styrofoam take-away box you’d get from a restaurant.

I have used it only twice so far — partially because times are tight and we haven’t been eating out much (and when we do we sometimes split a meal, so no leftovers), and partially because I have forgotten the damn containers on several occasions. Try #1 was a complete success. I had stashed the container in my purse because we were at a restaurant with mammoth portions and I knew I would only finish half of my entree. No one seemed to notice when I whipped it out and emptied my plate into it. Even Matt pretended not to be bothered. Try # 2 was a little dicier at first. We were at another of our favorite restaurants — this one a little farther up the ladder than the first. Matt didn’t want me to go back to the car to get the containers, neither of us would abandon our leftover food, and though we agreed that we both hate Styrofoam (on multiple levels) and that by using my own containers I was saving the restaurant money, Matt was mortified by the idea. Finally, I appealled to our waitress, the owner’s daughter, who said she didn’t think it was wierd, in fact, the thought it was “really cool”. With her on my side I won.  Without further complaint we proudly walked out with our food in Sterilite.

— Amanda


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