Week 37 – Restaurant leftovers

On the odd occasion that Waveney and I go out for dinner we can generally be found at a Chinese restaurant imaginatively named ‘The Great Wall of China’.  When we went a few weeks ago we ended up with a lot of food leftover and were about to ask for it to be packaged up to take home when we spied the styrofoam takeaway containers.  The ethical dilema of whether it is best to have perfectly good food thrown out versus utilizing non-biodegradable or recyclable containers was easily solved in light of our rubbish free year.  However, the experience obviously made an impact because returning last Sunday, we were about to walk out the door of our house when we remembered to grab some containers and consequently we both had our lunches catered for the next day.  It has made me wonder whether it might be a good idea to keep some containers in the car for such situations…of course we should be on our bikes…

Speaking of cars, ours has finally added an item to our rubbish bag.  On a hot nor’west day here in Christchurch our car decided to overheat.  It soon became apparent that the top radiator hose had perished.  I attempted to shorten the hose but this was unsuccessful and so a new one was bought and the old one added to the bag.  I’m not sure what alternative uses exist for a reinforced perished rubber hose, so if you have any suggestions I would love to hear them.  In the meantime it has been added to our rubbish pile which has just pushed us out of the shoebox we have been storing our rubbish in for the past nine and half months.

8 thoughts on “Week 37 – Restaurant leftovers

  1. Good idea with the containers. Did you know there is a restaurant in the US somewhere which does take away, but you have to bring your own container for the food to go in. If you forget a container the owner will lend you one of his. Pretty good idea, eh?


  2. Hi Wave & Matty

    good to bring this up to remind me to take a container with me to ensure that I will not create a foam box junk which will live longer than my age.


  3. some cafes are onto it with recyclable/biodegradable take-away containers. I gave my favourite veggy cafe in New Brighton (The Oak Tree) some info try checking out edengreennz.com and we can all inform our fave cafe/restaurant. There are many eco friendly alternatives to styrofoam and plastic like potatoapak another great NZ company


  4. I definitely agree with the containers for leftovers. I have recently made cloth napkins with little pockets for a knife and spoon. They wrap up into a nice little package that fits in our containers and is perfect for take-out. The trick is to remember them when we leave the house!


  5. I am really missing your blog being printed in the NZ Herald on Mondays. The Green Pages have disappeared and with it the kickstart to the week, that reading your blog provided. Perhaps this may nudge us toward greater use of technology afterall, but it can’t really compete with the satisfaction of a quick slipper-clad dash to the letterbox then snuggling back into bed with a cuppa, to read what you two had been up to. Who knows, the Green Pages may return after the election, by which time I hope we have not got too used to a computer screen rather than the Monday snuggles, to follow your inspirational journey.


  6. Hi there
    My husband and I made a conscious choice to eat at a restaurant the other night rather than do takeaways to avoid all the plastic containers. On our way home I thought why is it that styrofoam containers still exist? Surely there are better alternatives for restaurants/cafes and paper/cardboard must be cheaper?! Also wanted to say that I’ve been wanting to visit your website after reading your column in the Herald. Whenever I throw some sort of packaging away (ie I made spaghetti tonite and it was in a plastic packaging sealed inside a cardboard box, I think to myself what you would have done. I applaud your efforts and look forward to making some changes based on some of your tips on your website. Keep up the great work!!


  7. Most car hoses are made of polychloroprene (a form of synthetic rubber, trade names such as Neoprene). This is made from sulfur and acetylene compounds, both of which are continuously re-occurring by products of volcanic eruptions

    It could also be made from hydrocarbon distillation (crude oil based), in which case a one Kg hose will have a few litres of crude oil in it, just like your car tires! Will they fit in the shoe box too

    It will biodegrade, like everything else, just wait for the next volcanic eruption


  8. My girlfriend is doing a year long experiment much like yours. Observing her, I have adopted many of her habits and now always have a back pack with me with the following essentials: chop sticks (you can eat virtually anything with them, and I got them free at a restaurant), a cloth napkin, a stainless thermal coffee mug, a nylon bag (for groceries), and a few other odds and ends. You’d be amazed at how much less trash you create just by having these simple things with you at all times!


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