Tips for being sustainable while eating out


As the world takes on the challenge to be more sustainable through everyday life, many of us have taken on composting, swapped to bamboo toothbrushes and reduced our waste. But outside of the house, controlling our impact on the environment can be much harder – especially when treating ourselves to a nice meal out.

So, whether you’re heading to your local coffee shop to do a little work, or after having a celebratory meal in your favorite restaurant, here are six tips for being more sustainable when eating out.

Support local businesses

Cafes and small restaurants in your local area are a much better choice than the big-time brands. These smaller businesses will likely work with local producers while chain restaurants buy in bulk for as little as possible in order to create higher turnover. Bigger businesses are more likely to boost demand for quickly produced fruit, veg and meat which can have a significant effect on the environment.

Make seasonal choices

When ingredients aren’t naturally in season in your local area, they’re shipped from further away or artificially created in mass-farming facilities. None of this is ideal for the environment and your carbon footprint. To stay sustainable, try to look at which meals are most similar to the products you find in your local grocers. Research online what types of foods are currently in season, and choose something a little more seasonal to enjoy.

Recycle your packaging

If you’ve grabbed a takeaway coffee on the way home, or have opted for a street food dish for your lunch at the office, make sure to recycle your packaging properly. Kraft deli boxes & bowls are widely used for takeaways and street food diners now, and they can easily be recycled at home. Rather than throwing everything in a general waste bin, remember to correctly recycle these items so you’re not contributing to landfill and pollution.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

It can be difficult to know where food companies get their ingredients, what chemicals have been used, and how the farmers are treated. But don’t be afraid to ask questions. Local food services will be more than happy to share whether their food is Fair Trade, organic or locally sourced, which will help you make better decisions for your next meal out.

Forget ‘cheap and cheerful’

While we all love grabbing a quick bite to eat, or guzzling down a Starbucks on the way to work, these cheap, easy and quick options aren’t always the best for sustainability. Unfortunately, most sustainable choices will be a little more expensive – but nothing considering the expense the environment pays when we choose unsustainable options. Skip the convenience and be more mindful about your food choices.

Cook instead

Obviously, eating out isn’t something you have to stop entirely. But learning to cook more skillful dishes will certainly help you curb the cravings for your favorite takeaway.

Take time at the weekend to shop for local produce and get experimenting with new recipes. You might even be able to recreate your favorite restaurant meal at home.