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Reduce, Re-Use, And Recycle | Maximize The Use Of Fast Food Drink Trays

Updated on March 2, 2015

Endless possibilities! I was holding a plastic bag in the same hand as the tray with my other hand holding the camera! Meanwhile my two coffees, change and keys were safely stowed away on the tray.
I still had another bay in which I could have stashed my wallet and phone in.

Not Enough Pockets? Not Enough Hands?

The lowly cardboard drink holder that your fast food chain is happy to throw at you can be used to hold almost anything.

As you can see in the above photo, You have the obvious spots for your drinks, but in a pinch, the extra little dimple in the center can also be used to hold smaller items, such as change, or keys. Only have two or three drinks? The extra holes will easily hold your wallet, or your smart phone while that bag full of groceries hangs from the other hand.

Useful In The Greenhouse Nursery

Wait! Now that you've carried all your beverages, wallets, keys, change, and gosh knows what else, it's still not time to dispose of those glorious trays!

Fill 'em up with dirt and start your seeds with them! It's the same material as the little paper pots they sell you at the garden center, these also have the advantage of being a little bigger. They behave the same way, your seed starts in the tray, when it's time to plant, the whole tray goes in the dirt and bio-degrades over the growing season.

That's A Good Earthling!

Every little bit counts. By not throwing this little cardboard tray away, which i realize would have biodegraded nicely, you are still saving energy resources

Ah, but I wouldn't just throw that in the trash!, why i'd recycle it, you'd say.

It takes just as much water and electricity to "recycle" these trays as it does to produce them. A truck using fossil fuels is being used to deliver them to the restaurant, and the recycling truck also runs on fossil fuels.

Ah, but the recycling truck will be running anyway! You say.... yeah, but if we reduce the amount we use needlessly, we will eventually trim down unnecessary uses of energy along the whole chain, eventually reaching the transport stage, maybe less trucks will be needed reducing our draw of fossil fuels.

If you have ample pockets and enough hands, and don't garden, you can even opt out from getting the tray in the first place. I have seen people actually give back the tray once the drinks were safely transferred to the vehicle.

You can go even further and not go to the fast food drive-thru in the first place. You're running your engine, spewing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere while your beef patties are being fried up.

Then there's the Beef. Beef comes from cows. We eat a lot of cow. So we farm more cows. Cows pass gas.... greenhouse gas! Some scientists are now saying that the gasses passed by farmed livestock, cows, sheep, etc..., surpasses vehicle emissions!

Do What You Can

I realize this environmental awareness stuff can dig pretty deep into our way of being, a good example being the previous paragraph. We'll have more success by making changes in smaller "bites". Successful (smaller) changes will help us reduce unnecessary energy consumption, re-use products that we have already acquired of which are still usable, and recycle things that are recyclable or not biodegradable.

It's worth our effort!


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    • Ardot profile image

      Ardot 3 years ago from Canada

      Thank you for your comments!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A great suggestion for recycling. I like the ideas for these trays.

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      I'm all for recycling and these trays would make good seed starters.


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