You know how at the end of a long and busy work week, the thought of cooking dinner can feel exhausting? That was me last night. I made an executive family decision that we were ordering pizza for dinner.
Of course, this resulted in an empty pizza box at the end of the night. Not a very zero waste thing to do. I recycled the top half, which was free of pizza smears. The bottom half and the cardboard insert were both torn into small pieces and composted. The little plastic topper was recycled, although my kids also like to use them as dollhouse tables.
This morning as I was tearing the cardboard into small pieces, I wondered about a zero waste option for take-out pizza and Googled it. I found something called a Pi Pan, a stainless steel, reusable pan with a lid for pizza takeout. It doesn’t appear to be available for purchase at this time, though. I also found something called a GreenBox on Amazon, but this is also made of cardboard can’t be easily reused or recycled. And I found a company making washable, reusable, recyclable plastic boxes for pizza as well. Although plastic can be recycled, I prefer to avoid plastics, many of which are made with non-renewable fossil fuels and contain chemicals that will stick around the planet forever.
Of course, pizza boxes are just a drop in the bucket of food packaging waste, considering the millions of take-out containers that end up in landfills every year. But I know that I’ll still need an occasional night of take-out, when the thought of cooking feels overwhelming, and the alternative of asking my kids to show self-control in a restaurant when they are also tired seems cruel. I love restaurants that let us bring our own containers in for take-out, which is what we typically do. But there is something magical about warm pizza and a cold beer at the end of the week. So chances are I’ll be tearing cardboard into small pieces again in the near future.
Have you figured out how to bring pizza home in a zero waste way? I’d love to hear about it!