What do four indoor dining venues plus one outdoor seasonal dining location plus two on-site convenience stores multiplied by 500 residents add up to at Lenbrook? Until mid-August, they equaled 97,000 plastic takeout containers that were each used just once and then discarded!
With sustainability as a priority at Lenbrook, the Dining Team was resolved to do something about it. In July 2022, team members began evaluating ways to reduce the impact on the environment from the takeout containers.
They researched and reviewed many reusable container options for durability and price, among other factors. Ultimately, they selected high-quality reusable containers made by OZZI that can be cleaned and reused up to 2,000 times! The team presented their selection to the resident community in June. The group quickly got on board with the new, sustainable reusable container option, and the Dining Team moved forward.
In August, Lenbrook kicked off the Reusable Container program as part of its Reduce, Reuse, Recycle initiative.
“We have proudly begun offering reusable takeout containers at all of the dining venues throughout our community in keeping with Lenbrook’s overall efforts to be good stewards of our environment,” said Stephen West, Vice President, Community Life. “These containers are now available whenever residents place to-go orders with any of our dining venues or have leftovers to take home from our amazing restaurants. It’s a win for everyone at Lenbrook and the environment too.”
West explained how easy it is for residents to use the new containers and help drive sustainability efforts at Lenbrook. “When residents finish using the container, they simply rinse it out to remove any trash and food. Then they take it to the trash room on their floor and place it on the designated shelf. It’s as simple as that!” he said.
There are also designated drop off spots located in some dining venues. Once the reusable container arrives back in the dining area, the Dining team rewashes it. After 2,000 reuses, the team will recycle the container.
Joan Kurucz, a Lenbrook resident since Jan. 2022, is glad to see the move to the new containers. "I really believe in this program and think the containers are wonderful,” she said. “People are being very good about rinsing them and putting them out for pickup.”
Gail Ripans moved to Lenbrook in Feb. 2019. She is excited about the new containers and how many residents are using them. “I think it’s a very positive move,” she said. “They are substantial, attractive, functional, and store the food well. They are green, and that makes people remember to rinse, reuse, reduce, and return. I love them!”
West is glad residents are using the containers and believe they will make a positive impact at Lenbrook. “There are three new R’s in Lenbrook’s sustainability effort: rinse, reuse, recycle,” he said. “We’re excited to see how quickly the sustainability equation will change with this new solution for our residents.”