It’s been a little over two weeks since we asked the question, “Why Do We Use So Much Plastic Foam In Hawaii?” Since then, we’ve learned about the plastic foam supply chain and that Hawaii manufactures some plastic foam locally. Now we wanted to see how practical it was to avoid using plastic foam.

Last week, Plastic Free Kailua commented on one of our “Friend or Foam” posts. They wrote:

…One important thing to me is that as the customer, we have the ultimate say. We can ask our favorite lunch spot to transition to more sustainable choices (that I hope we will learn about in a future post) or ask to bring in our own reusable containers??

We heard you, Plastic Free Kailua. We went to To Thai For, one of our favorite restaurants in Kaimuki, and asked if we could bring in our own food containers. Natalie Pornngam, the owner, was more than happy to accommodate our request.

She told us that by bringing in our own containers, we’d be helping them as well. They pay 25 cents per small plastic foam box, 45 cents per large plastic foam box and 40 cents per plastic curry container with lid.

Last Friday, the Civil Beat clan brought in our own food containers, dropped them off at To Thai For, placed our order, and voilà — we had a plastic foam-free lunch. It was that easy.

We calculated that we saved To Thai For $5.35 on our entire lunch order, but who knows what we saved in environmental impact? For the first time after a group takeout lunch we didn’t have overflowing plastic foam in trash cans.

Take a look at the slideshow below.

Read our related stories about plastic foam in Hawaii:

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About the Authors

  • Dan Zelikman
    Dan Zelikman – Marketing/Community Host As the Community Host at Civil Beat, Dan is fully engaged with the readers on the site. He is responsible for pushing content through multiple media platforms while discussing the different issues with Civil Beat readers. From answering questions to sharing opinions, Dan is responsible for Civil Beat's voice in the community – both online and off. Dan is also tasked with Civil Beat's digital marketing efforts. From analyzing web data to promoting content, Dan uses technology to understand what Civil Beat readers enjoy reading most. Between the data and the responses, Civil Beat tries to apply that feedback to become better every day. Dan was born in NY and has studied around the globe in parts of New England, Sweden and Australia. Dan loves exploring Hawaii – and when he’s not blogging about his adventures you can find him surfing waves, climbing mountains, and hiking off the beaten path. Dan thinks that "board meetings" are meant for the water.
  • Lena Tran
    Lena manages all aspects of Civil Beat’s business operations. Things such as making sure our books pass strict accounting audits, testing our products prior to launch and developing project ideas. Most importantly, Lena is president of the fun committee. Before joining Civil Beat, Lena served as finance manager at Ashoka, where she split her time between the finance team and Changemakers’ operations team. Prior to Ashoka, Lena served as an accountant at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. A native of Santa Barbara, California, Lena graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in Business Economics and Global Peace and Security. Lena comes from a closely knit family including her three siblings, 19 aunts and uncles and 32 cousins. She doesn’t have any family members in Hawaii so she considers the Civil Beat staff her extended family (for better or worse).