Below are suggestions of ways in which to change simple things to make food and drink on-the-go more eco-friendly. Click here to find out more about how food contributes to climate change, deforestation and threatens populations of wild animals
WATER & DRINKS
One of the easiest ways to cut down on waste is getting a reusable bottle to fill up using taps or water fountains. Once you get used to remembering your water bottle you'll never look back! There are thousands of varieties out there but metal or glass options are the best for the environment as these are the most recyclable when they come to the end of their life.
If you prefer to drink through a straw then you could get a reusable straw. They're a much greener option to any single-use straw over time, even paper straws. Metal and glass straws are the best options as both of these materials can be recycled endlessly. Bamboo straws are also much better than disposable ones. Lots of reusable straws are sold with handy travel bags and there are even collapsible ones available for convenience. Just don't forget to ask for no straw when you order your drink!
When buying ready-packaged drinks it’s more eco-friendly to choose those in glass bottles or metal cans. These are much more recyclable than those in plastic packaging.
HOT DRINKS & DAIRY
Did you know that less than 1 in 400 disposable coffee cups are recycled in the UK? Getting a reusable cup is a great way to cut down unnecessary waste. Some coffee shops will even give you a discount for bringing your own!
If you do forget your coffee cup one day then you could ask for no lid on your drink if you don't need it. It's a simple way to cut down on single-use waste.
TOP TIP: Why not consider an alternative to cow milk? It's a great way to be greener. Most cafes/coffee shops around the UK now offer alternatives. Coconut, hemp, oat and pea-protein are the most eco-friendly milks to choose. After these, almond, rice and soy milks have more of an environmental impact however they are still much more eco-friendly than cow's milk.
You could get yourself a spork or reusable cutlery set for when you do have food on-the-go and refuse the single-use utensils provided. You’ll need to say no to them when you place your food order or else they'll automatically be put in when your food is made.
MEAT & DAIRY
Cutting down on meat, especially beef, and dairy is one of the best ways to reduce your environmental impact when it comes to food.
When you're getting food on-the-go you could consider getting vegetarian or vegan options. There are plenty of delicious plant-based meals out there and options are broadening with an increase in popularity.
The Good Fish Guide webpage and app are great tools as they show how sustainable different types of seafood are. This means ensuring enough fish are left in the ocean for a healthy balance of wildlife. It's a good idea to use the app if you order seafood on-the-go. That way you can select seafood meals which aren't being over-fished.
Did you know that almost all chewing gum sold in shops contains plastic and can take hundreds of years to break down? Not only that but it isn't biodegradable so it will never fully disappear. Chewing gum is the world's second most common form of litter after cigarette butts, around 85% of it doesn't end up in the bin! There are now some plastic-free, biodegradable gum alternatives available online.
Over a third of all food is wasted globally. If you're eating on-the-go it's better for the environment to still be mindful of leftovers. Ordering only what you know you can eat or save to eat later is a good place to start.
If you have the bag space, carrying around a lunch box is a great habit to get into to store left over food for later. There are even collapsible lunch boxes available to make it all the more convenient to do so!
Too Good To Go is an app to help eliminate food waste. It connects you to local bakeries, cafes and restaurants that have to throw out food at the end of the night. A lot of this food is still perfectly edible and that's where the app comes in. Pick up discounted, local food and help put a stop to food waste.
Ditching cling film, plastic food bags and foil and switching to sustainable food storage is one of the best things you can do to cut down on unrecyclable waste. If you ask when you order, some places will let you put your on-the-go food into a reusable food bag or lunch box instead of the single-use packaging provided.
Paper napkins are usually given to us with on-the-go food and drink. Switching to handkerchiefs or reusable kitchen towel is a great way to prevent unnecessary paper waste. After all, every tree counts in the fight against climate change.