It feels like Durham. That was my first reaction to The Green ToGo Reusable Container Service when I heard about it from Daria Drake, of The Durham Originals, an ardent environmentalist herself.
Reusable To-Go containers from a collective of participating Durham restaurants and eateries that can be shared, sanitized, and used again and again.
I could immediately see the benefits in the cut down on waste. No matter how recycled the material in the disposable ToGo container a restaurant is using might be, it is still headed for the landfill in the end.(1) If it’s paper, even if it’s recycled, they originally hacked down a tree to get it.
Now I am no fan of Kickstarter. It is easy to loathe the moral hazard of fulfillment. As we know in Durham.(2)
What is interesting in this case is the how far the FAQs attached to this proposal travel beyond the basic premise of a program for reusable ToGo containers.
I had presumed restaurants hand out plastic ToGo containers and because it is a collective, you can bring them back to any participating restaurant. This is true. But also happening; building a drop off bin for every participating restaurant (presumably so that you don’t have to drop off your ToGo container only during operating hours), the purchase of two ELFs equipped with trailers so that as the FAQ puts it, “to have a carbon-neutral means of transporting the GreenToGo boxes to/from the wash facility and restaurants” (ELFs are the legendary Organic Transit bike car hybrid vehicles.) and finally the creation of an App so that Green ToGo boxes can be checked out on your phone or tablet.
So often when a singularly good idea is proposed the developers put it in a silo, failing to consider the totality of the interaction with our collective ecology: to wit an eminent environmentalist who spends a lot of time traveling by commercial aircraft. Here is a group; Green ToGo is brought to you by Don’t Waste Durham under the fiscal sponsorship of Keep Durham Beautiful, that is endeavouring to make the whole process, from start to finish eco-friendly.
Want to see and understand how the program works? Want to get on-board? Want to make sure that your favorite restaurant is on-board—after all it should save them money in the paper costs spent on disposable containers— then come by The Pinhook tonight at 6pm. Meet the founders. Have a chat with like-minded individuals. Relish in a Durham institution like The Pinhook. Grab a slice of the Pie Pushers. Win one of the fabulous door prizes.
Be there and part of a Durham effort as their Kickstarter goes over the top.(3)
Restaurants Already On-Board
Old Havana Sandwich Shop
Bull City Burger & Brew
Durham Co-Op Market
Alpaca Rotisserie Chicken
Saltbox Seafood Joint
The Original Q-Shack
Ninth St. Bakery
Rose’s Meat Market and Sweet Shop
Geer St. Garden
Vegan Flava Cafe
Happy & Hale
Pie Pushers Pizza
Oval Park Grille
(1) As the Durham County Solid Waste Manager explains in the Kickstarter video, Durham produces a massive warehouse sized mountain of trash every day.
(2)There is no doubt moral hazard in investing in any private corporation, be it through stocks, partnership, or other maneuver. The difference is, unlike Kickstarter, there is a body of law and case history that offers greater opportunity to understand the risk and how adverse events and results might be adjudicated. Albeit, given the direction of Tort case law, the slope gets slippery every day.