jude par Jude

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Lettuce Eatery, I am disappointed.

I sent the following to one of my fave lunch spots, Lettuce Eatery, today:

In the past I have always enjoy my Lettuce Eatery salads and have recommended them to many of my friends. Today I am afraid that this will have to stop.

I have always been a little sensitive about the fact that Lettuce uses so much plastic and produces so much waste in salad production. Every salad regardless of eat-in or take-out status comes in a disposable container and lid. This is unnecessary! Why do I not have the option of an eat-in reusable bowl? Why do I need a lid to carry my food for three feet to a table? I understand that the staff uses the lid to keep track of the order, but they ALSO use a sheet of paper for the same task. This paper is then tossed in the garbage can instead of a small recycling receptacle. When I take lunch late and arrive when the staff is refilling the veggie trays I’m a little saddened when I see that each container is filled in advance and then sealed with plastic wrap which goes into the trash. On several occasions I have met with confusion when I refuse a bag and a plastic fork at the cash. Once I was told “Oh, it’s ok.” No, it’s not ok! Many companies have instituted a “Do you need a bag?” question as part of the cashier’s lingo. Perhaps you'll consider this? Don’t get me wrong. I reuse my Lettuce bags and containers all the time. My husband and I have quite a little collection going! They’re wonderful. We reuse them over and over again. When they start to get misshapen they go in the recycling. I am pleased that they are code 1. I don’t often remember to bring them back to the store, though. Many companies offer a small discount (10 cents usually) to customers who bring their own bags or coffee cups, etc. Perhaps a similar incentive would help lower your costs and aid in your waste reduction?

All of this leads up to my experience today. I ordered my salad and then while waiting to pay I noticed that the staff was foregoing the mixing bowls and was now tossing each salad in a PLASTIC BAG!! Every salad (most customers are take-out l believe) now creates:
-a large plastic bowl
-a plastic lid
-a sheet of paper which goes into the garbage
-a plastic bag for tossing
-a plastic bag for carrying
-a plastic fork
and a thermal paper receipt (thermal paper is generally non-recyclable, but at the location I visit it goes into the garbage anyway.)

I find this unacceptable.

I know your company does not make any comments towards being “green”, but after wearing skirts into mid-January I am finding myself more and more conscious not only of my choices but of the choices made by companies that I have put my money into or who’s praises I have sung in the past.

Yes, I am aware that there are many other companies that produce more waste than Lettuce. Yes, I am aware that if I take my bowl home I can recycle it (the containers used by eat-in diners end up in the garbage along with napkins, forks and food stuffs.) I am not looking for any explanations about why you do any of these things. I just wanted to point it out and I wanted to voice my disappointment in a company that I have come to love so very much.

I hope that in the future there will be more green options offered by Lettuce. Paper bags, reusable eat-in bowls and a more rigorous cash desk recycling program are just a few easy ways to start.

Thank you for listening to my rant, I’ll climb down off of my environmental soap box and eat what I think will have to be my last Lettuce Eatery salad. :(

Thank you,
-Julia MacMillan

Was that too preachy? I tried to sound fair and rational. I pretty much stood in horror watching them throw out bag after bag after bag while making salads. When I got to the cash I was so frazzled that I tried to hand the cashier my gloves instead of my debit card. Yeesh! WAKE UP PEOPLE! We all have to make better choices both at home and at work. Using energy efficient bulbs is one thing, but we also have to get the companies we do business with to step up to the plate!!


At 16/1/07 12:03 PM, Blogger Paul said...

absolutely not too preachy. very friendly in fact. go git em tiger!

At 16/1/07 12:27 PM, Blogger Maria said...

Good for you posting this on your blog!

At 16/1/07 1:15 PM, Blogger Ravenswift said...

RIGHT ON SISTER!!! This letter is awesome. Eloquent, relevant, poignant. Well done!

You might be interested in reading this, actually:

At 16/1/07 2:25 PM, Blogger Miss Julia said...

Hey Kari, thanks for the link! That was great!!
One of the restos mentioned was Fresh right by my office. Apparently they give 15% off if you bring your own container. I wish I could eat there more often because it's so epensive. ...looks like I can!

At 29/1/07 8:43 AM, Blogger Josh Rachlis said...

Do they have CFL's in their lamps now? I wrote to them a while ago about that subject. So maybe my letter made a difference?
Those are some good points you've made. If you want to pursue this, I know a woman, Jennifer Wright, who runs a business that helps other businesses green themselves. I think Lettuce would benefit greatly from this. www.greenshift.ca Contact Jen, tell her that Lettuce is open to talking, and tell her I sent you. :-)


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