Saturday, January 2, 2010

Bring your own container

Skyline and Sigg. The paths of these two staples in my life have finally converged. None of us are saints--certainly not green saints. As a long-standing Cincinnatian, and a resident who lives across the street from a Skyline Chili location, the question is not *if* it's Skyline Time but rather "dine-in or carryout".

Earlier last year, I decided to significantly reduce my carryout trips. However, it is Skyline's carryout packaging makes me cringe. (I rarely visit fast food establishments, and most locals would agree that Skyline doesn't exactly qualify as a try fast food eatery. It's a chili parlor.) Coneys (which is what I'd ordinarily order to-go) come in polystyrene foam containers. Ways come in #5 plastic re-fastening containers. The corresponding grated cheese and oyster crackers come in plastic baggies, sealed with sticky fasteners. Put that all in a brown take out bag or two.

No thank you. That is why I went for round two of my Sigg lunch container experime
nt. The first time around, I asked the cashier if I could have my order of coneys placed into my Sigg container instead. He said they could not do it because the health department would have a fit. Well, I certainly don't like being told no. This time, I was encountered with a "what...are you doing?" by my regular server. I told them that I didn't want to consume any more Styrofoam containers. I live right across the street, so I regularly refuse drink straws, napkins, and bags. In the end...they actually admired my stance! So, as long as I don't expect them to do accommodate me during the bar rush or after a UC game, I'm golden.

As for the health department excuse that I got, the first time around? The staffer assembling the meal still must change his plastic gloves, after handing an outside container. The food must also be placed in the outside container away from the serving island. Even so, it comes down to two plastic gloves in the trash or a polystyrene container, at the very least.

I would also recommend bringing your Sigg drink bottle to your favorite establishment. If you're like me, and still helplessly fixed on a certain carbonated beverage, restaurants are actually more willing to fill your drink container. Of course it's better to eat at home, eat local, avoid meats, and avoid sodas. But we also have our weaknesses for traveling consumer food products. Every one of those times deserves an offset.

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