6 ways you can be an eco friendly restaurant guest that won’t be completely obnoxious to the restaurant staff!

6 ways you can be an eco friendly restaurant guest that won’t be completely obnoxious to the restaurant staff!

As a former bartender, this is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. Restaurants produce a lot of waste. The good news is there is plenty of room improvement. As consumers, we are able to act more responsibly in an effort to improve our environmental behavior, and gradually the restaurant landscape. 

Here are some simple tips that will get you thinking more consciously about how to consume and dispose of fewer unnecessary items! Don’t forget, you get to vote every day with your wallet.


1) This is a no brainer. Napkins. Make use of the cloth napkins! They’re washable, and leave behind a lot less waste than paper. When stealing a stack of cocktail napkins from the top of the bar, make sure you only take what you need. The barback will thank you (those napkins can be heavy lifting). As a matter of fact, cloth napkins at home can be fantastic too - or anything that replaces paper towels (check out our bamboo kitchen cloths).


2) Bring your own containers for leftovers. Nothing fancy necessary - just your every day tupperware will work perfectly. Your waiter will thank you for packing your own food as well!


3) Refuse the plastic to-go bag. Let the hostess (or whoever takes to go orders) know that you do not need a bag when picking up your take out order. Hopefully you have a reusable grocery bag at home that you can bring if your order has a lot of items that would make it difficult to carry off. Not only are you saving the bag, but restaurants typically throw in all sorts of plasticware and other wasteful add ons like salt & pepper packets.


4) Stop tearing up coasters at the bar! I’m talking to myself here as well… The bottom line is that most coasters are donated by one of the beer or liquor brands that the restaurant carries. These brands are notorious for handing out tons of wasteful and unnecessary shwag items. If they’re not destroyed, the coasters are reusable. The fewer we use, the fewer the bar needs, the less the brands deliver. Less is good.


5) Saving water in the club. If you enjoy going out to the hottest clubs in town on Saturday night, I am going to save you some time and help you avoid germs. If you’re just liberating all of the cocktail liquid you’ve recently consumed, don’t flush. The bathrooms are constantly being flushed and used on a busy Saturday night, so it will make it down the drain eventually. In the meantime you might save over a gallon of water! 


6) Refuse the straw. There are tons of fun, packable, reusable straw option. Take advantage! The reason straws are so bad, is because they're not easily recyclable. Most recycling processing plants aren't set up to process that sort of plastic.