Greener To-Go Participating Restaurants are Cactus Charly (Maplewood), La Strada Nuova (Millburn) and Ariyoshi (South Orange). Pictured here: South Orange Trustee Walter Clarke, Amy Cho – manager at Aryoshi, and Larry Hirsch from the South Orange Environmental Commission.
From the Maplewood, Millburn and South Orange Green Teams:
On January 11, 2019, the Millburn Green Team, in collaboration with the South Orange and Maplewood green teams, will launch the Greener To-Go weekend to help residents reduce plastic and Styrofoam consumption by putting more sustainable take-out options into the hands of local restaurants.
Residents are asked to order take-out from one of the participating restaurants on the weekend of January 11 through January 13. The three restaurants participating are Cactus Charly in Maplewood, La Strada Nuova in Millburn and Ariyoshi Japanese Restaurant in South Orange. Depending on the food order, the customer will get their take-out food in some of the Greener To-Go food containers along with a bright green reusable bag they can keep (while supplies last). By participating, community members will show restaurateurs that sustainability is a factor in their purchasing.
“Take-out food provides a good test case and opportunity to reduce our ecological footprint,” said Walter Clarke, South Orange Village Trustee and a member of the joint green team committee. “We hope this weekend will raise awareness of the plastic and Styrofoam waste problem and help all three towns in reducing plastic pollution. For example, this campaign builds on South Orange’s #SONotPlastic outreach.”
GREENER TO-GO PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS
- Cactus Charly, 6 Highland Place, Maplewood, NJ 07040
- La Strada Nuova, 355 Millburn Avenue, Millburn, NJ 07041
- Ariyoshi Japanese Restaurant, 56 W. South Orange Avenue, South Orange, NJ 07079
“As we started researching take-out packaging for this project, we learned that no material is perfect, and all will impact the environment in different ways, but some are better than others,” said Ellen Ingber, co-chair of the Millburn Green Team. She explained, “We want to reduce plastic and Styrofoam consumption by providing more sustainable take-out options to local restaurants. We could all supply our own reusable containers for take-out, but the next best solution is for restaurants to switch to more ecofriendly packaging.” Working together, the three Essex County towns hope to maximize outreach to residents for their volunteer led efforts.
The most common food to-go container used today is made of Styrofoam. The environmental burden is so high that its use for food packaging has been banned in more than one hundred cities in the United States. Styrofoam is not biodegradable, lasts in landfills for centuries and takes up more space than paper. The use of plastics is not recommended either as their actual recycling rates are low. For more information on the project and the to-go packaging provided to the three restaurants, visit the website: https://www.greenertogo.org/
Tracey Woods, chair of the Maplewood Green Team added, “We hope participants will also take the two-minute survey and share ideas to let us know how important take-out packaging is to their choice of restaurant. We will report back to local restaurants and the community with the results.” To access the survey:
The Greener To-Go project was made possible through a Sustainable Jersey grant funded by the PSEG Foundation that Millburn Township received in 2018.