When grabbing and going lunch-style, it's not always easy being green.
All that to-go packaging for food also produces waste. So what can a person do to Go Green in Chicago for lunch?
*(Per The Dow Chemical Company, there is no such thing as a STYROFOAM® cup, STYROFOAM® is actually a registered trademark of The Dow Chemical Company, and it’s not just a brand of plastic foam; it’s an entirely different type of foam than what’s typically used to make coffee cups, take-out containers and packaging peanuts. Disposable plastic foam containers and packaging are made with a different type of foam known as expanded polystyrene (EPS).)
It goes way beyond the plastic containers. Here are some things to look for:
- Recycling options
- Biodegradable cups, packaging, utensils, and bags
- Organic, local, sustainable foods (Green City Market has a list of its suppliers/customers)
- Reduced waste, or waste-free kitchen
- Low-flow/auto technology in restrooms/kitchens
- CFL/LED lighting for signs and ambiance
- Eco-friendly delivery vehicles
"Hannah's has been built on the idea that organic and healthy and environment all go together," Pfahler adds.
If someone can't make it out of the office, there is a green delivery lunch option from Greg Christian Catering. Christian boasts the only waste-free kitchen in the city, and regularly visits the farms where his produce, meat and cheese comes from. Christian even tracks the carbon footprint of all the goods that come into his kitchen.
So, does it cost more to go green lunch style?
"You can still get lunch for less than $10," Phaler says. "We also have soups and salads that are in the $5 to $7 price range. Again, it comes in organic packaged and green packaging, so it's at a bit higher price point than, say, fresh choice. But it comes with a better product in my opinion, and more environmentally friendly packaging, which in my mind is worth investing in."
So why Go Green at lunch? Rosenthal says it’s a no brainer.
"Short answer, we're drowning in our own garbage -- it's just that simple," Rosenthal says. "We need to combine personal will, political will and technology to save the planet. We can do it -- I think someone else said that."
For more restaurants that Go Green (this is not a complete list) :