“Keep your fork, Queen, there's pie for dessert.”
the tag line of a long popular story, supposed true, about the Queen attending a much less than formal state dinner in a small Maritime community some decades ago. This was no fancy feast with place settings containing a dozen pieces of cutlery. There was a knife and fork, with a spoon for stirring your tea, and you'd best keep the fork to eat the dessert.
thought of this incident as I was listening to a program about reducing waste, especially of plastics, in order to cut back on pollutants in the seas and in the ground.
There was much about the efforts of the hospitality industry to reduce waste by eliminating straws, cutting back on packaging, and doing away with single use items.
But what really stuck in my mind was the revelation of a restaurant which is now allowing, indeed encouraging, patrons to bring their own utensils and serviettes or napkins. The restaurant is a small operation with a core of local regulars, many of whom are active in the environmental movement.
regulars appear quite willing to bring their own knives and forks and napkins to the restaurant and taking the dirty ones back home to clean themselves, relieving the restaurant of these costs. Many are also bringing their own take out containers in case they want to bring the left overs home too.
Many restaurants have long offered a Corking service which allows a patron to bring their own wine and have it opened by the restaurant for a fee. But bringing your own cutlery brings the BYO movement to a whole new level.
Clearly the triple R conservation movement must be addressed on several levels, but I'm not quite sure if bringing my own utensils to a restaurant and pocketing the dirty ones as I head out on the town is something I'm quite prepared to do.
I will though save my fork for the dessert as a start.
Frank Likely is a retired Anglican minister who lives in Springhill.