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Name: Jon Fishbein
I’m Jon from Ethical Ocean (www.ethicalocean.com)! I live in Toronto, Canada in an apartment by myself. I travel quite a bit, and will be hauling plastic around with me for the challenge….
Total items: 13
Plastic food containers
What items can I replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Takeout Food containers
What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Figuring out how to reduce takeout food containers even though I travel will be a challenge.
What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Plastic grocery bags – there is no reason for me to keep using these.
What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
It is crazy how much food comes in plastic!
Read all posts by: Jon Fishbein
A big yes to traveling with a refillable water bottle. And if you're not outgoing enough to want to ask the flight attendant to fill it, you can fill it yourself at a water fountain or sink AFTER you go through security.
I'm not sure if you travel by plane, but I just wanted to add that bringing your own reusable bottle is the best-kept secret of airliners. I haven't yet had a flight attendant refuse to fill my bottle, and then you have all the water you need to keep from being dehydrated on your flight. Of course, hydration is equally as important in a car. =)
Hi Jon, I have yet to invest in stainless steel containers, but I have been using a durable, reusable plastic container for food during recent travel. It doesn't take up too much space in my bag, and I can easily wash it out for the next meal. Good luck!
Hi, Jon! I'm pretty much at the same level as you at the moment as far as my plastic free challenge. I'm still at Baby Steps but I'll tell you that the number one thing I'm doing is bringing my own containers. Of course, I don't travel very much but as a college student and a musician, I always have a lot to carry with me so the extra containers can be a hassle as they make my bag very big and heavy. I'm looking into alternatives but for now, I'm trying to avoid buying anything unless I have to (both for economic and eco reasons). Since food is the biggest plastic maker on your list, I'll tell you that it really is so much more liberating to be able to finish your meal and not have to visit the trashcan at all! You might find yourself meeting some establishments that don't want to fill your containers up for you, but your traveling experiences would be excellent for documenting what kind of places do choose to do that and, thus, what kind of places we should support. I definitely encourage you to carry around your own containers and to reuse any that you can't avoid (for non-edible things like nails or coins, etc.) Good luck!
I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but if stainless steel is too bulky to carry with you when traveling (though you could just keep it in your car), I'm a big fan of collapsible containers. I have a round rubbermaid one, which works well, but I really want a FoldTuk which is made from some kind of silicone mixture (they say there's no petro-based plastic in it, I don't know if they're BPA free, but they say it's "PTFE/PFOA free"). I think the rectangular shape would be more efficient than the round one I have, but they're a little pricey, and I think I read that they're a little heavier than the rubbermaid ones. they double as bakeware but I probably wouldn't use it for that, silicone bakeware always seems to give off a smell which I'm not so fond of. I'm trying to find folding collapsible containers, instead of the accordion style, but I can only find things without lids like that (Fozzils and Orikaso make cool folding plates/cups and such out of flexible polypropylene), I'm thinking something like a small bakery box or chinese food container, problem is they can be pretty big when they're unfolded. now, obviously steel is better than any polymer, so go with that if you're willing to carry it, but these are good alternatives for people like me who don't have a car and have to carry all this stuff everywhere in a bag. (ok, I'm done plugging plastic crap now! sorry for rambling)
Hi Jon! I know it's a challenge to avoid plastic food containers while traveling, but I know you can do it! Look for places where you can sit down and eat from real dishes. Yeah, it takes a bit of time. But it's healthier anyway. :-) Bring some stainless steel containers with you and ask restaurants to fill them for you. Many will refuse, but you'll be surprised that some will go along with it. Check out how I did at a food court in Chicago -- down at the very bottom of this post: http://www.fakeplasticfish.com/2009/08/my-green-chicago-trip-part-1-hostel-vs/