The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

February 8, 2010

Eating Ice Cream for Breakfast — Plastic-Free & Zero Waste

Did you know that Saturday was International Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day? Well, it was. Unfortunately, since I’m trying to avoid ice cream packaging waste (All ice cream containers are lined with plastic), I didn’t have any in the house.  And I could tell my freezer was feeling a little sad.

So, remembering Steve L.’s comment here last week, I called Ici, one of the awesome ice cream shops in my neighborhood, to find out if they would handpack a pint in my own container. “No,” they said. “We can only use our own containers. But our containers are compostable.”  Not good enough.  I was looking for a zero waste experience.

So I tried Tara’s Organic, the amazing ice cream shop I wrote about on this very blog a year and a half ago. I called and asked. The answer: An enthusiastic, “YES. Of course you can!” So I did.

Tara's Organic ice cream let's you bring your own container

Recognize that container? It’s one of the Anchor glass refrigerator containers I bought a year ago for storing and freezing our cat food. The size is exactly one pint. To keep the lid closed, I tied it up in a cloth napkin. And to keep it cold, I carried it home in a plastic-free insulated lunch bag. More on this amazing bag in tomorrow’s post.

BYO ice cream container

Tara’s told me that not only was it okay to bring my own container, but that they have several customers in the neighborhood who do just that.  My soul mates! Granted, a pint of Tara’s is way more expensive than a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.  But you get what you pay for.  And I’d rather stick to great quality ice cream occasionally than cheap ice cream every night.  Better for my tummy and the environment.

So, did you eat ice cream for breakfast on Saturday? Or any other frozen dessert? If not, why not have some today? As my friend Red says, the best time to eat ice cream is when it’s cold outside.

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5 years ago

My weakness – ice cream sandwiches. Do you know of any that don’t have a plastic wrapper? Thanks!

5 years ago

How long did the ice cream stay fresh after storing in the freezer? I know you and your family may have consumed it right away like I often do but I am looking for a good zero waste storage container for homemade coconut milk ice cream. I have glass containers with plastic lids (I already had them and the glass pyrex & anchor hocking bowls are easy to come by at thrift stores.) I have only seen posts about storing homemade ice cream in plastic/silicon containers that have an insulating layer. (You’re site is extremely inspirational!) Thanks so much!

10 years ago

I’m working on Loard’s.

12 years ago

I always see the relevant posts after I do something. I was disappointed in our local ice cream shop (Farr’s), whose employee told me, “We have to put it in our STYROFOAM container for health reasons”, the irony of that statement completely lost on her. So I went to the chain ice cream establishment (Coldstone) whose employee happily crammed as much frozen delight as she could into my 1 pint french canning jar!
Why do so many food workers believe there is some law against consumers using their own packaging? I can’t educate them all. Heck, I can’t even get them to believe me!
Quick note on freezing stuff in glass; it’s usually not a problem. If the food stuff is a liquid, just save plenty of room for expansion, and don’t seal it. (Yes, I learned this the hard way). Beth’s containers are perfect because the lid just sits on top. (I want some. Maybe when I go to TX, I’ll be able to hit the Container Store).

Benji - passionate about Margaret River
12 years ago

It was the first the time I heard of Eat Breakfast for Ice cream Day. I would have probably bought a pint for myself at my favorite ice cream store – Millers Ice Cream in Margaret River, WA.

13 years ago

Hi Beth,

Your blog inspires me everyday. Thank you for all your hard work!

Have you thought of trying to make ice cream without an ice cream maker? David Lebovitz has a great recipe on his website, The only equipment it requires is a bowl made of durable material, such as stainless steel, a spatula, some ice, and a freezer.

Hope you enjoy this adventure!


13 years ago

My partner and I take our own containers when we’re picking up take out. Our little sushi restaurant loves that we bring our own containers and told us that other people started doing the same when they saw ours sitting on the counter.
Just found your website, great information!

13 years ago

wow Beth, you never cease to amaze. I would have never thought of asking ice cream shops if I could bring my own container.

I’ve never been much of an ice cream eater anyway, but my boyfriend LOVES it. no-waste v-day gift, perhaps?

13 years ago

Wish we had Tara’s where I live!

I tried to return some of the plastic containers that the veggie store uses for split peas and they could not take them back. The shop owner even said the local board of health has strict rules on what she can do and not do.

13 years ago

We got a lot of snow here in the Mid Atlantic area, so we made the best of it! Besides being great to make snow angels and igloos, we found a recipe for snow ice cream! It was easy, delicious, and plastic free!
The recipe (for those who are interested) calls for a gallon of snow, 1/2 to 1c. sugar, 1t vanilla, and some milk, enough for the right consistency. Just put it all into a bowl and stir. Delicious!

13 years ago

Now where did you find out about eat ice cream for breakfast day?

Just wondering – why didn’t you consider making your own ice cream? Save yourself a trip to the store and make it at home.

Homemade ice cream beats store bought any day, you don’t have to worry about other people’s packaging philosophy, and you don’t have to drive any where to get it … padding around the kitchen in my slippers, making ice cream … sounds good to me.

13 years ago

I did NOT eat ice cream on Saturday morning, as I didn’t hear about the occasion until just after I’d eaten my breakfast.

Having said that, ever since you shared the ice cream cone as zero waste tip I indulge in one at every opportunity. You’re welcome, planet Earth! ;)

Lisa @Retro Housewife Goes Green
13 years ago

I really want to go to this place!! I’m hoping with some pushing I can get the local dairy (Braums) to start letting people bring their own container! Heck Cold Stone will always put my shake in a reusable mug.

13 years ago

No I didn’t eat ice cream for breakfast. I had veggie chocolate cake. But i would make my own ice cream if buying it is a problem. Your string holder is on the way- so you can tie your container with that!

Kathy G
13 years ago

I DID celebrate Ice Cream for Breakfast on Saturday! It was wonderful.

First I’d heard of it, but it’s already on my calendar for next year.

13 years ago

Bummer about missing Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day! Although my gastrointestinal tract says, “No, it is NOT a bummer you missed it” ;-).

I’m really interested in the Anchor Hocking glass storage containers. Have you used them to store something besides catfood or ice cream in the freezer?? I’m just curious how good of a seal they create, as the things we usually freeze are chilis, soups, and the like. My assumption is that if the lid has to be held / tied / taped on, then it doesn’t create the kind of seal I’d be looking for for freezer use. Is that a correct assumption?

By the way, very cool about finding an ice cream shop that used your container!!

13 years ago

Anchor Hocking. Ice cream. Hmm. Saturday was also my birthday. Wish I’d known! Well, no time like the present…

Ice Cream Forum
13 years ago

Wish more ice cream shops would put as much thought into their ecological footprint!

Condo Blues
13 years ago

I didn’t know it was Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day last Saturday. We were celebrating Dig Yourself Out From the Snowstorm Day! After shoveling and playing in the snow all I wanted was hot tea :)

13 years ago

That’s awesome. I can’t handle the sugar in most store bought ice creams, but am considering making my own… Saturday morning we were buried under almost 3 feet of snow that fell over night (and was still falling), and without power. Breakfast was (very cold!) millet bread and goats milk cheese – I would have preferred ice cream!

Pure Mothers
13 years ago

I did not know it was International Eat Ice cream for Breakfast Day! I LOVE my Anchor Hocking glass storage containers. My mom was worried about freezing in glass. I’ve been using these for at least 8 years now and they work wonderfully!