From Disposable to Reusable: BYO Food Containers (plus 10 More Ideas)

Preserve Everyday 16-Ounce Cups, Set of 4, Pepper Red
BYO plastic cup to Jamba Juice
Although I am a serious Eco-novice in this area, I am trying to keep an eye on my waste and to take small steps from disposable to reusable whenever possible.

One recent success:  take-out food containers. 
We eat out very very little around here, but we do have our little indulgences.  My husband and son sometimes go on little Jamba Juice outings together.  I was feeling pretty sad about those styrofoam cups, plastic lids and straws that ended up in the recycling bin each time, so I bought a large plastic cup for my husband (he doesn't need a lid) and some cheap-y plastic cups with lids and straws for the kiddos at Target, and stashed them in the car for their next trip.  I already checked with the Jamba staff, and they are totally cool with filling up your own container.

Also, my husband and I sometimes go out to Baskin Robbins together.  It's our special treat.  Last time before leaving the house, I grabbed a couple plastic IKEA bowls and spoons to take with us.  The BR staff person wasn't sure it was kosher, so she checked with the manager, who OKed it.  Yea!  Of course, my husband got a sample, so there was that little plastic spoon that went in the trash.  But I'm feeling pretty good about my waste reduction efforts this week.

Here are 10 Other Switches I've Made:
  1. From disposable diapers and wipes to cloth diapers and wipes.
  2. From disposable nursing pads to reusable nursing pads.
  3. From paper napkins to cloth napkins.
  4. From paper towels/ cleaning wipes to cloth rags and wash cloths.
  5. From plastic Ziploc food baggies to reusable food baggies and containers.
  6. From plastic water bottles to stainless steel water bottles.
  7. From lots of packaged food to more homemade food stored in reusable containers.
  8. From wrapping paper to reusable gift wrap.
  9. From single-use plastic/paper shopping bags, to reused paper bags and reusable fabric bags (almost all the time).
  10. From plastic produce bags to reusable fabric produce bags or no produce bag (for apples, oranges, bananas, and other produce that does not need to be stored in plastic, I just put the food right in my cart or into my reusable shopping bag).
 Any other ideas? What can I tackle next?

This post is part of


  1. What about reusable menstrual products such as cloth pads or one of those cups? I'm intrigued by the Diva cup. But I want someone else I know to try it first.

  2. My biggest reusable triumph lately was to replace wrapping paper with fabric this last Christmas. I wasn't sure if the kids would be disappointed--you know how it's kind of fun to tear wrapping paper?--but if they were, they didn't say anything about it. I think they were just excited about the presents. Oh, I also got glass storage containers to replace my tupperware. They're working great so far.

  3. Well done, Megan!
    Kelly, not yet. I haven't had much occasion to worry about it in the last few years. But I sure see a lot about it around the web on the greeny blogs.

  4. How about reusable bathroom toilet fabric? Instead of using toilet paper use a square cloth? I started a challenge last year and it was amazing. No more cutting tree's to wipe on my butt! Well you get the idea. It also saves me a ton of money. I have 4 daughters so you can imagine.....Check it out. It's free to do just find a old flannel sheet.

  5. Wow...great list! And I actually do ALL of these {except #1 & #2 -- I don't have kids yet}

    I guess I'm "greener" than what I thought!


Have something to say? Please leave a comment!
I read all comments and try to respond to questions in a timely manner.
Comments are now moderated due to spam overload and have to be approved (by me) - so don't worry if your comment does not appear immediately after you publish it.


© 2008-2020 Eco-novice: Going Green Gradually All Rights Reserved

Copyright © Eco-novice | Powered by Blogger

Design by Anders Noren | Blogger Theme by