Green Your Fast Food and Carry Out

Posted by Mrs Money on May 6th, 2010

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April 14th - Be The Change
Creative Commons License photo credit: The Los Angeles Trifecta

While it’s not really green or frugal to eat fast food, we all know sometimes it happens. It’s not ideal because it’s nowhere near as healthy as cooking from scratch, and it’s not as frugal either. Here are a few tips to be a little greener with your fast food and carry out (is that an oxymoron?!)

Park the car and go in. Sitting in the drive thru wastes money and gas while the car is idling.

Refuse the bag. Many fast food chains bag their food in plastic bags that get tossed in the garbage.

Only take what condiments you need. Unless you’re the extra frugal person that takes ketchup from fast food restaurants home with them, limit yourself on the number of packets of ketchup and napkins you use. The small packaging creates a lot of waste.

Don’t use the plastic utensils. Chances are you’ll throw them away when done. If you’re doing carry out, use your own utensils at home. If you’re super green, carry bamboo sporks.

Order vegetarian. It’s a healthier option, and many fast food places now offer salads. Save money and your waistline!

Skip the drink holder. That’s extra cardboard (or whatever it’s made of) that will end up in the landfill.

How often do you order take out or fast food?

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8 Responses to “Green Your Fast Food and Carry Out”


  1. A few years ago I was lazy and used to eat a lot of fast food until I realized what it was doing to my waistline and my wallet. So I usually bag my own lunch with a sandwich or leftovers. Fast food is an occaisional treat now.

    We do order Chinese at home a couple times a month though. It’s just so delicious! And usually I order a little extra so I can take it for lunch the next day too.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Saving Money Today- I agree, it is expensive and can make you fat. That’s a good idea to order a little extra! I’ll have to try that next time we order out.

    [Reply]

  2. Heather says:

    We only do three kinds of takeout at this point: Pei Wei, Chipotle, and pizza. I will often (though not always) remember to take a bag (well, not for pizza), and we’re good about not getting extras (condiments, napkins, utensils) unless we’re eating on the go.

    We don’t do burger-joint fast food ever. Rare exception is when we’re on a road trip, but we’ll look for a sandwich place in that case.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Heather- I’ve never had Pei Wei. Is that Chinese? We avoid burger places too. I am weird about the meat they use. ;)

    [Reply]

    Heather Reply:

    It’s a variety of Asian styles. Very tasty. And lots of veggie choices. As a vegetarian, burger joints don’t appeal so much ;)

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Heather- LOL that is true! I laugh because I pronounce it “pee wee” ;)

  3. We ate fast food at least 5-6 times a week last year, but this year we’ve cut back to 1-2 times a week max. It’s been great.

    We don’t get plastic bags but I always cringe at the huge soda cups my husband has all over the place. I wish fast food places would let you buy a plastic or glass cup for $10 that you could re-use 10 times and then keep for home use or something instead of a styrofoam cup every single time…

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Budgeting in the Fun Stuff- That’s great you have cut back! I like that idea of getting a plastic or glass cup and reusing it. I know some gas stations do that.

    [Reply]



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