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July 9, 2019 | by  | in Environment |
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Sustainably Simple

The takeaway packaging our food sits inside has a complex and flawed circulation. ’Compostable’ alternatives to our cups, containers, and cutlery are not all they are promised to be—in practice, almost all are going to landfill. These products are tricky to compost together, as everything is made differently. Commercial composting facilities are aware of this, and are beginning to restrict what they can accept to ensure they produce successful compost.


So instead of diving into the clusterfuck that is compostable products, we can take matters into our own hands—by avoiding them altogether. Solutions are simple and I promise you, cafés don’t mind your bringing your own. They don’t have to be costly, either.

Here are some tips:


Firstly, coffee. We drink and demand a lot, and use a lot of single-use cups in the process. Wellington’s composting centres aren’t accepting them, and there’s no such thing as a recyclable coffee cup—to the landfills they go. Now, you don’t have to buy an insulated Frank Green keep cup. An old peanut butter jar does the trick, and if you’re lucky—a knitted cosy, courtesy of your nana. Bonus: most cafés offer a small discount for bringing your own.


Secondly, your own container. Opt for a larger size to ensure you get your money’s worth—plus, some cafés might chuck you a lil extra. Bring your own cutlery, too—I keep mine inside a little produce bag. Both ‘compostable’ options for these are designed so differently, it really is a mystery if they’re successfully composted—which is, in turn, reliant on actually arriving at a composting facility.


Lastly, Dine. In. Take a breather. Eat with mindfulness. Our demand for fast and portable food has derived from our increasingly stressful lifestyles. Neither is good for our health or our environment. Park up at a table and enjoy your lunch or coffee in a different environment. Take a moment to take in the beautiful city at our feet. 


Cutlery in hand, we can eat sustainably.


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