Why Reducing My Waste Reduced My Waist - Public Goods

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Why Reducing My Waste Reduced My Waist

Reduce, reuse, recycle. Bring your own mug. Compost. Say no to plastic bags.

three glass containers with grains tomatoes olives zucchini corn rice

There are so many sustainability tips that it’s hard to prioritize what to integrate! With the state of the climate constantly popping up on my feeds, I find it challenging to feel as if I’m making an impact.

Measurable and attainable goals help me feel like I’m making a difference, so I like to take on sustainability habits where I can track my results. Thus, I challenged myself to eliminating my consumption of single-use plastic. This change includes plastic cutlery, single-use coffee cups, plastic bags, takeout containers, straws (obvi- have you even been on Instagram lately?), etc.
Can’t be too hard, right?

This plan went off (mostly) without a hitch. Simply by planning ahead, I was able to eliminate much of this type of waste. I dug out my favorite glass to-go container (big enough to fit a proper meal) and it became my sidekick. We went everywhere together!

Did I want to take leftovers from a restaurant? Throw it in the glass container. Was I placing a to-go order? I called ahead and asked (very nicely) if they would please prepare the dish but allow me to put in my takeaway container upon pick up. Most places said yes!

Remember my measurable goals fetish? Well, not only was I able to track and measure precisely the amount of plastic I depleted over two months, but also the most unexpected result came out of this experiment. I found that cutting back on my plastic consumption resulted directly in a reduction of my weight. Say what?!

I lost 10 lbs by bringing my own takeaway container around with me for two months!

I lost 10 lbs by bringing my own takeaway container around with me for two months! How’s that for motivation to save the planet? I contribute most of that weight loss to the fact that I was eating proper portion sizes (for, like, the first time ever) due to having my own container.

I cut back on mindless overeating, and I realized how GINORMOUS restaurant portions really are. I also refused to have food delivered to me (helloo carbon footprint), so I would walk to the nearest food cart or restaurant for lunch instead of sitting at my desk. This routine got me some extra exercise, stress reduction and fresh air.

Now that I’m in the habit, I don’t foresee stopping anytime soon. My next project is to see if I can reduce my caffeine intake by switching to a smaller reusable mug. Wish me luck!

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Comments (4)

  • Lovely article. Thank you. I like the image of you and your sidekick, the glass container, going places and saving many to go containers. I pledge to think ahead more often and bring my own. I wish you luck with your next endeavor!

  • It’s great to read this as I have been on this plan for a while now and though I don’t have the same level of success due primarily to forgetting my container if I am in a hurry, I’m happy to come home and not have a stack of to go cups in my wash pile for recycling. I’m also trying to talk my favorite coffee shop into switching straws. 🙂
    It’s a great feeling, and my regular haunts have become so use to me bringing my own straws and cups they help motivate me not to forget!

    • Hi Cynthia,

      I’m afraid we don’t know. We just grabbed that image from a stock photo site when we produced the post. Public Goods doesn’t sell glass food storage containers yet.

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