One of the easiest changes we can make in our daily lives is simply to ask for a “for here” mug.
Or bowl, or spoon, or other plating and flatware. Almost all coffee shops — large and small, local or global — have some “for here” mugs and glassware, and often plates, bowls, and flatware. The best ones (usually local shops) will ask how you want your order and automatically supply reusable vessels if you’re not leaving the shop; however, a LOT of servers don’t think to offer. Yet, we find they are typically happy to provide us with a “for here” experience when we ask.
The next time you’re in a coffee shop or fast-casual restaurant, look around at the number of people enjoying their orders in single-use containers that have no benefit to the environment. It’s crazy, huh? There are likely mugs and glasses behind the counter for customers who are dining in, but the barista or other servers don’t think to ask and the customer doesn’t either.
What an easy change we can make in our lives with minimal hassle or inconvenience!
If you’re not in a hurry and on the run somewhere*, ask the server for the “for here” option. Often, “Can I get that in a mug for here?” is all it takes. And many establishments don’t mind at all if you take your “for here” items out to their patio or deck, as long as you don’t walk off with them and follow whatever table clearing protocol they have in place — usually that just means walking your dishes in and putting them in a bin or on a counter.
You may run across some places that don’t have a “for here” option, but you’ll be surprised at how many do! Even fast-casual places like Starbucks and Panera keep reusable vessels on hand for customers who prefer not to use paper and plastic. Ice cream and gelato places also frequently have for-here versions of their serving containers.
So, one super easy change we can all make on a regular basis is to ask for our orders in a “for here” container as often as possible.
*If you ARE on the go, there are options for you, too. We bring our own reusable thermos and water bottle and ask for our to-go purchases to be served in the personal containers we brought. Watch for a post about that easy change soon!
[header photo | Aaron Spicer]