Grey Area no. 2: Eating and Drinking outside the home…

This is one of those Grey areas that I am looking at and trying to evaluate. Up until now we haven’t really considered much about our eating out habits. In some ways we don’t do them often as a couple (although there are peak times like Christmas and around Birthdays). However, I go out a lot more than Steve and therefore this is one of those areas that is definitely more relevant to me than Steve right now.

Each week I leave home and go by train (with my hot tea in a flask) to study Contextual Theology as part of my training for Ministry in the Moravian Church. I manage to avoid all the obvious foods out that contains plastic (so I don’t go in for station snacks really but whenever I have they are the things like cake – served in paper bags). My drink is covered whilst I travel – either with my flask or metal water bottle water. Easy.

But then I get to college. Now at college we have a system whereby you can use a clicks key and get access to drinks (that come in plastic as standard). So I have abstained from this as of last year (I gave my last key away and haven’t collected it this year). HOWEVER, I do use the student kitchen where I have access to milk (in a plastic container) and a tea bags (which as we know contains plastic) and I do use these rather than take my loose tea with me or botttled milk (this feels totally unrealistic). Yet, I am wondering whether actually this Grey area of my life is O.K. as in reality to be truly non plastic and have hot drinks I could just go in for hot water (better for my teeth too).

For a while I was taking in Herbal teas (which seem a little better as it avoids the use of the milk which comes in plastic) but the difficulty is that even the teapigs ones (which are biodegradable in theory) do take a long time to decompose. It is starting to make me think that perhaps this was and is not the best choice. It is in simple areas of life like this that I tend to stumble the most and get puzzled the most. I do LOVE tea you see… Furthermore, I recognise compromise is a part of life but I am wondering whether to try the whole use up herbal tea bags and then go in for just drinking hot water. Before I do this though I wonder if you have any suggestions? Is anyone out there aware of another idea for a tea lover?


I also go out each week (ish) and eat with my friends from college at a fairly cheap place. Eating out generally is actually the area I am not quite sure how to deal with in relation to my ambition to go plastic free as in reality eating out is a part of my life but probably involves plastic at some stage because right now the food supply industry is so in love with plastic. Currently, I have done nothing with this area of my life at all but am wondering what I could do, at least in terms of choices of meals perhaps to reduce the amount of plastic to construct my meal. For instance, would vegetarian be better in terms of plastic than a meal that contains meat…I am not sure but wonder what you guys think?

Life is full of grey areas. Areas of doubt and compromise. Attempting to live plastic free in our second year is asking me what else could we do that is possible without ending up in the situation whereby life no longer has elements of “fun” to it. The second year feels about discerning the most sustainable, life-giving way to keep up this habit which is now almost a lifestyle. And for that reason it has to be fun. For Steve being vegetarian is a non option outside the house as for him eating meat is a “fun” luxury (no judgement please). For me I am still unsure on this. At college I am a pescatarian, at home a vegetarian and out sometimes (but not always) a meateater.  Equally I am equally unsure in terms of plastic if this is even worth thinking through as I have seen those vegetables at supermarkets and they love plastic….
Thoughts welcome.


One comment

  1. As a tea drinker,could I suggest that you take tealeaves and one of those metal tealeaf containers that you can dangle in hot water to brew tea?For College.I know this doesn’t get round the plastic bottles for milk-maybe a carton of milk that could be kept in College in the fridge?Not sure about eating out though-a big area to consider!!


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