wanting to make a change

This week one of my coworkers proposed an idea to me and asked my advice on how to start it. He wants to eliminate the sometimes unnecessary waste of receipts. I told him it was great idea that could make a huge effect on the amount of paper thrown away and that I would support him in his quest. My suggestion to him is to start with our state representatives and to compose a letter stating why stores should ask customers if they would like a receipt before printing them. In this day and age, records are kept online, in my opinion, eliminating the need for printed receipts on the store's end. And many times, especially when paying cash, customers immediately throw them away or worse, litter the parking lot. 

This coworker spent some time in the Midwest this year and said it was standard for store clerks to ask before handing over a receipt. Just today, I was at a store and I didn't need a receipt for my two soft drinks and bag of candy, so after the clerk asked and I said no, she just balled up the receipt and threw it away.

It's not that he's looking to ban receipts, he's just looking for clerks to ask before printing, in order to save the paper if you don't need it. I think it's a very realistic goal and offered my support in storming the capital steps if necessary. I would love to see him follow through with this and see if he makes any sort of effect on this practice. 

At the very least, it will get him involved in our state government to make a change, which is incredibly respectable.

It's also gotten me thinking about one specific area I want to make a change in - restaurant to-go containers. Around here, the standard is leftover portions in a styrofoam container that is put into a plastic bag. Non-biodegradable packaging in more non-biodegradable packaging. When I first set out to make a personal change, I asked for at least some recyclable plastic packaging, which one restaurant had. Then I went out and bought a couple reusable containers and was doing well at remembering to bring them with me. I have fallen off the wagon a little with this (although I eat out way less now that I'm on my own), but my next goal is to get restaurants to look into better options. I want to start with figuring out why restaurants will put one styrofoam container into a plastic bag. Is it because of the handles, for easy(-ier) transporting? If so, why not create a to-go box that HAS handles?

I think, now inspired by my coworker, I would like to pursue this to-go box issue more and see if I can't at least get restaurants thinking about making a switch (but really, getting restaurants to actually make a switch.) 

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