Friends, treehuggers, countrymen (and women), lend me your attention for this short confession.
I just fell in love with a to-go box.
A closed Folia to-go container, with its pretty leaf embossment.
Don't worry, it's a polyamorous thing, you can get sappy too — in fact, I highly encourage you.
See, last fall, I told you here how one of the Green Restaurant Association's first guidelines is to ditch foam to-go boxes.
Many restaurants who aren't on the GRA's list still pitch a little extra money for some foam alternatives, but some of those continue to have undesirable elements, such as plastic linings on paper boxes that make them difficult if not impossible to recycle or compost. Whole plastic boxes can at least be recycled in full, when washed.
But today, I met a fully biodegradable container from a company called Eco-Products, that sports some spiffy features, including being made from 100-percent renewable and reclaimed sources and containing a lining made out of sugarcane to handle saucy hot or cold items.
The compartments to the right and left allow for small utensils to be packaged with food.
According to the YouTube video below which directs you to purchase at Good Start Packaging, the new "Folia" containers won the industry's 2013 Package of the Year award.
The lid and folding wings can all be torn off come meal time to allow for easy access while eating, and larger versions have inserts to keep side items separate.
I found my love ... I mean, um, box ... while at lunch today at Old Colorado City's Mountain Shadows Restaurant, where personable owner Kasie Swain said she happily pays about a third more for the high-quality to-go wear.
Considering that on Fridays, she runs an all-you-can-eat $9.99 fish-and-chips plate, and buys local antibiotic- and hormone-free beef from Ranch Foods Direct, let's agree that paying a little more for the good stuff isn't out of reach for even a small mom and pop place.
Restaurants do have a hard enough time as it is exceeding tight margins, but as that GRA article pointed out, savings can also come from other eco-friendly moves to offset other "green" costs.
I'd say that I'm not here to be all judge-y about an eatery's choice for to-go wear, but in fact I directly am.
Colorado Springs on the whole can do better. Follow Kasie's lead on just this one item.
Who knows, you might just fall in love along the way.