Entrepreneurship, Environment, Food & Travel, Shopping & Consumption

How One Chicago Restaurant Went Trash-Free


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#MUNIonThis:

In a world where some restaurants churn out eight gallons of waste per hour, maybe even more for fast food chains, how trash-free can we really be?

This Chicago restaurant, Sandwich Me In, was able to stretch themselves and produced the same amount of trash (only eight gallons) throughout two years! Learn more about their story here:

Changing Consumer Mindsets

Notice how the first time customers Hannah and Nick at 3:27 express appreciation for the work that Sandwich Me In owner Justin Vrany sets out to do. This is a very positive sign of the times, that people are becoming more conscious about their consumption and their choices too.

This is not to say they avoid the things they were accustomed to completely, but that they are made aware of the better choices out there that they can choose to support too.

Furthermore, challenging as it is for business owners to be as garbage free as this Justin, the thrust we should have is for businesses to keep trying anyway. It may not be easy to be a completely sustainable / garbage-free business, though we can always keep looking for small ways here and there.

Our Role as Consumers

The consumers really play a big role in the way businesses shape themselves too, because we have the power to raise the demand for a certain type of product / brand – ones that have stories made rich with an embedded cultural, social or environmental cause behind it.

Moreover, the effort of minimizing waste in restaurants can largely be a consumer-driven initiative too. What if instead of demanding fast food chains or take-out joints to get rid of plastic disposables, what if we brought our own reusable bottles / containers / utensils instead? Then maybe businesses can start incentivizing that sort of behavior as well.

We could wait for someone to start it, or we could wait for businesses to think of better solutions, or maybe, it would be easiest to start creating change in the realm within your control and start with yourself.

What would you choose? 🙂

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