Eating Out

Consumerism has led us to expect fast, effective service and a vast range of exotic ingredients and dishes. But all this comes at a price which is paid not only by you but also by the environment. The energy, resources and waste involved in the 'eating-out' industry are growing exponentially. It's worth remembering that if everyone in the world consumed at the rate of the highest consumers in the West, we would need five worlds to support us all. But it is possible to choose places to eat which have the minimum impact on the environment (Go Mad, The Ecologist, 2001).

Ask the café or restaurant if it recycles its glass and cans: in the UK 57,000 pubs and 70,000 restaurants and hotels use about 350,000 tonnes of glass a year. At the moment 80% of this goes to landfill, even though all of it could be recycled. Encourage local restaurants and pubs to recycle (Go Mad, The Ecologist, 2001).

Support restaurants with small menus: generally, the larger the menu (unless each item is a variety on an identical theme), the more different types of food the restaurant has to have ready for consumption every day, and the more food will go to waste (Go Mad, The Ecologist, 2001).