Many people who have decided to ensure that their meals are eco-friendly forgo restaurants in favor of eating at home. If you are conscious about what and how you eat, you don’t have to stop frequenting your favorite Chinese carry-out. Here are five ways that you can make your Chinese dinner eco-friendly:
Order a pint instead of a quart the next time you have a choice of portion size. Chinese cuisine typically comes in correct portion sizes, but portion sizes grew as restaurant owners began to cater to their American clientele. Reduce the amount of meat in your dish along with your portion size and you’ll be helping to protect the planet. Factory farming is incredibly harmful to the environment; the less meat you eat, the more sustainable your diet is.
Find a Chinese restaurant that buys their produce from local farmers. When restaurants purchase produce and animal products from local farmers, they are making a conscious effort to support the local economy and the planet at the same time. Produce grown on local farms doesn’t have to be shipped very far which means that both packaging and energy expenditures are kept to a minimum.
Avoid shark fin soups and dishes at all costs. Shark fishing is one of the most unsustainable fishing practices that there is. Fishermen typically use nothing but the fin, cutting it off and throwing the rest of the shark back into the ocean. For every pound of shark harvested, there are 14 pounds of waste produced. Aside from its harm to the environment, shark fishing is incredibly cruel. After slicing the fins off of live sharks, the sharks are dumped back into the ocean to slowly bleed to death.
Visit Chinese restaurants that utilize recyclable and sustainable containers to store and serve their food. Whether your food comes in a paperboard carton or a plastic, covered dish, there are recyclable options that your Chinese restaurant can and should be using. You should also look for restaurants that use chopsticks made out of bamboo; one of the most sustainable wood crops on the planet.
You don’t have to stop dining out simply because you want to make better choices when it comes to your food and the environment. The next time you visit your favorite Chinese restaurant, eat smaller portions, add more veggies and less meat, and look for local produce and farm-raised oysters. You can also skip dishes with shark fin and make sure that your containers are recyclable and eco-friendly. By doing all of these things, you will ensure that your dinner is as environmentally-friendly as you are.