Why you should care

The Bring Your Own mindset means you can enjoy that leftover pizza without dumping on the planet.

By Latha Rao

We throw away 50% of the plastic we use after just one use. As the world’s population grows, more and more disposables (plates, cutlery, cups, pots, pans, etc.) are used and thrown away. It can take 500-1000 years for plastic to degrade, so every piece of every plastic that was ever made still exists…yeah, think on that one a bit. 

Plastic liter not only pollutes our oceans, beaches and rivers, but the chemicals applied on or used to make plastic can harm marine and bird life. Recent studies showed that microplastics (tiny, tiny, micro pieces) were found in our bodily fluids, so the plastic has now gotten inside our bodies through the food we eat and the water we drink.  These chemicals have been linked to hormone disruption and can harm our health

But, there’s still time to reverse this, or at minimum, not contribute to it anymore. Changing our daily habits and creating a culture of bringing your own containers is a clear (and cheap) step on the right path!  

Why Shift To BYO?

  • Save the Planet. You can stop contributing to the sucky problem of plastic pollution.
  • Get a discount. Many coffee shops and restaurants will give you a discount for bringing your own cup. It may just be 10 cents, but over a year, that’ll add up to about $25 or more.
  • Inspire others to be the change. Show your friends what you’re doing to proactively tackle the problem. It may seem small until you multiply yourself by 10,000. Start that conversation on how to change things!

Bring your Own Culture is about more than just bringing your own to-go containers and grocery bags. It’s about thinking differently, using that growth mindset and making changes to propel change in others and in local policies.

Tips For Living BYO Easily

  • Order only what you can eat.  Most restaurants serve way too much food. Consider splitting with a friend or ordering just appetizers. This habit means no left overs and maybe even a lighter healthier you!
  • To slurp or sip? Consider sipping without a straw. When everyone stops using a plastic straw, we save tons of plastic waste.
  • Grocery Kit. Add a few mason jars and reusable produce bags to your reusable grocery bag.
  • Commitment and Consequences. Make a commitment to not buy anything if you forget your containers. This may seem hard at first, but after the second or third time you forget, don’t worry, you’ll will remember.
  • Stash in multiple places.  It’s kind of a pain to carry containers around. The easy solution is to keep containers in your car, office and bag.
  • Nudge. Place a note on your front door or set a reminder on your phone to take your containers. It helps if they are already rinsed and ready to go. 
  • Rinse. Get into the habit of rinsing right after use.  Some coffee shops will even steam your cup for you! 

Start With These 5 BYO Items

Miir Cup, Gold Giveback Medal 

Miir sells water bottles, bicycles, and backpacks, and their sales contributes directly to clean water initiatives in communities that need it. Under each cup is a code you can track the progress of the water project in real-time. Sustainability Impact. Minimizes physical and visual pollution throughout the life cycle of the product.


Chico Bags Reusable Utensils/Produce bags

Gold Giveback Medal & Silver Sustainability Medal

ChicoBag is committed to helping humanity ditch the single use habit. Their To-Go Ware/Chico Bags provide people with simple reusable bags and utensils to ditch the disposables habit. Sustainability Impact. The company is committed to making a sustainable product and closing the loop by taking back used bags. ChicoBag’s reusable bags are made with recycled materials.


Simply Straw Reusable Straw

Gold Giveback Medal & Gold Sustainability Medal

Simple Straw makes reusable glass straws. Sustainability Impact. Simply straw is a clean energy business and US EPA green power Partner. They use compostable materials for packaging and the straw sleeves are made of sustainable fabrics.


UKonserve Reusable Containers, Gold Giveback Medal

They make reusable and innovative containers to change our disposable habit by creating recyclable products. Impact. They promote waste free programs in schools as well as supports numerous partners working on waste reduction and plastic clean up initiatives.


Soma Water Bottles, Silver Giveback Medal & Gold Sustainability Medal

They make sleek and modern glass water bottles. Sustainability Impact. Water bottles are made from glass which is reusable and recyclable. The manufacturing and distribution of Soma bottles are offset by forest conservation efforts. Soma also uses post-consumer and recycled packaging.

Keywords: bring your own; recycled containers; tupperware; byob; single-use plastic; single use plastic; zero waste; food to go; to go containers; reuseable cup; reuseable bottle; miir; to-go ware; chicobags; simply straw; b-corp; 1% for the planet; love bags; ukon serve; soma water bottle

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