My husband has been traveling on business trips...a lot, which leads me to take on the parental duties alone for 2 kids. I have not had any desire to cook, which is rare for me, so I've relied on take-out maybe a little too much lately. But as with most things that are convenient, there are environmental implications.
Remember when it was a big deal when McDonald's finally crossed over to the green world (somewhat) by changing their styrofoam boxes to paper/cardboard? Why, then, have other eateries not done the same? It seems so wrong to have this stuff still in existence, yet so many places offer no alternatives if you order take-out. I just read an article about Congress starting to scrap their green options in their cafeterias and it just seems like such antiquated thinking.
At least this is an option that can be recycled, but still very wasteful.
There is that debate on Paper vs. Plastic but I'd rather take paper than see another plastic bag floating in our streams and oceans. Or take your own bag to put the stuff in.
This can also be recycled, but still very wasteful and not very energy efficient to produce.
There are at least a few places out there that offer green take-out packaging that is made from biodegradable, plant-based materials. This is the least guilt-inducing of all the take-out waste and I wish more restaurants would use them. It's more costly, I'm sure, but it's a great thing to label yourself a "green" restaurant which can entice more customers into your business, no?
The super-hippy way
I guess the best way to get take-out without adding to landfill waste is to bring your own containers to these establishments (and risk getting looked at like you have 3 heads when you ask them to put your food in it). I haven't quite reached this level of bold eco-friendliness, although I have been tempted at times.
So there you have it, more ways to feel guilty about convenient living. I felt terrible by the end of the week for not making my own food. I usually only eat out once a week and very rarely get take out because of the implications. Maybe I'll go meat-free just to make up for it. Maybe.