A few days ago, I spent my lunch at Rubio’s. I’m not sure if Rubio’s is considered fast food or not, but their food is decent and if you arrive at the right time, the service is pretty fast.

I ordered some fish tacos and a large drink and then waited for my order. I had timed my lunch poorly and the place was pretty full. I hurried over to grab the last open table. In my rush, I forgot to grab my drink cup. The waitress was kind enough to deliver it to my table when she delivered my food. I pondered the cup. Just another large cup, which I would use briefly and then dispose of…just like so many times before.

The convenience of food, particularly fish tacos several hundred miles inland, is overtly grand. Yet, we’re used to it. But what if there was a universal standard? For instance, if everyone had to carry their own dining set. Cups, plates, bowls, silverware, etc. You were responsible for cleaning your materials. The folks at the restaurant could plop your fish tacos, hamburger, or sweet potato hash down on your personal, permanent plate. When you’re finished eating, you store your dining materials in a backpack and depart.

Maybe you scrape the extra food in the trash; that material could be used for compost. There’s no need for recycling because you’ll wash your table settings at home.

This could be permanent. These could be your permanent plates. When you arrive home, you wash them and continue on your way.

Less trash, less waste. Yes, you’re on the hook for cleaning your belongings, but it sure beats the heck out of so much waste. Imagine everyone at a five-star restaurant sitting down to dine. They all enter wearing the latest, most-fashionable backpacks carrying their dining sets. It could be a thing.

Resources are scarce. Ideas are needed.


Picture – courtesy of me
Sweet potato hash – courtesy of my wife