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What Do I Do With Leftovers From a Restaurant? How to Say No to Single-Use Containers

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This is by far one of the hardest struggles of being a zero-waster, at least for me, personally: Figuring out how to bring home leftovers from a restaurant without the single-use containers that eateries so often hand out. Do you ditch the leftovers altogether? (That’s pretty wasteful in and of itself.) Do you demand sustainable containers? (Chances are, they don’t have them.) Bringing home leftovers as a zero-waster is one of my actual nightmares, but luckily for you, I finally figured out how to do it in a way that’s not confrontational to the waiter and that gives me some peace of mind.

Make a Restaurant Leftovers Kit

Say what? As a zero-waster, you’ve probably heard or read before the benefits of making or buying a “zero-waste kit.” This is a to-go kit that you can keep in your car. It features all the zero-waste supplies you might need on the go — such as a cloth napkin, sustainable utensil, reusable coffee cup, water bottle, and tote bag — so that you don’t have to unnecessarily create waste while out on the town. Random stop at Starbucks? No problem, you’ve got your reusable cup. Getting hungry during a road trip? No worries, you’ve got your own stainless-steel utensil in there; no need for Burger King’s plastic cutlery when you order the Impossible Burger.