Like fashion trends, if you wait long enough, the “look” will be in style again. After years of ribbing, especially from family members, my BYO habits are in-style, hopefully to stay, and they would make my frugal Chinese grandma proud!
As kids, we used to laugh at my non-English speaking grandma when she tore her thin Kleenex tissues into quarters and stuffed them into the little silk pocket of her Chinese vest, despite my father’s reassurances that if she ran out, we’d buy her another box.Â On my first trip to Beijing in 1988, I recall having to bring our own bowls and plates when buying food from the street vendors.Â Unfortunately, everything had turned to styrofoam disposables when I went back in 1994.
Most of us are familiar with tearing open the individually wrapped, disposable chopsticks at Asian restaurants. As someone who hates to waste food and loves leftovers, I don’t like having to use disposable take-home containers. (I kept a couple of Tupperware in my trunk but kept forgetting to carry them into the restaurant.) Like remembering the shopping bags, it takes a change of habit and advance thinking. I’ve also started a transition to glass containers. (Tip: I collected a dozen large glass pickle/olive jars, perfect for storing flours, rice, etc.Â free from a deli.)
I’m excited by the increased public awareness, new organizations like GreenPlate and more choices of reusable, portable eatware and energy efficient cookware on the market. Now, we can spread the BYO Movement and I won’t be the only hipster whipping out my cool BYO-Chopsticks!
I’m testing out a few different types of portable chopsticks and cutlery and will share my feedback. Stay tuned…
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