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Would you pay extra?

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St. John
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Would you pay extra?

So a recent thread about recycling got me thinking…. How many of you would pay extra at a restaurant to have them be more eco-friendly to our small island? There is a pretty big price difference to get eco-friendly take out containers, or invest in reusable cups instead of throwaways, etc. And how do you feel about not getting a straw in your drink? I would just really love to hear how all of you feel about it. Who knows, all of your feedback might help a movement on St. John! Thanks for any comments and ideas you can all contribute.

Saint Louis...
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1. Re: Would you pay extra?

If we are talking a dollar or two per meal, absolutely. If its 10, at 3 meals per day, that would add over 200 dollars to an already expensive week-long vacation.

Any ideas on what extra equates to?

St. John
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2. Re: Would you pay extra?

That is a great question! I know that High Tide uses some kind of paper carry out containers, as well as reusable plastic cups, I will see if they can give me some more info. I've always applauded Kelli and Jimbo for making that move. Thanks for taking the time to post.

St Thomas, VI
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3. Re: Would you pay extra?

Thanks for starting this post. I feel so guilty whenever I order take out, though is washing dishes here more eco? I would love to be able to take my dishes for take out, but there may be health ordinances about that.

Can eco dishes be sourced on STJ or STT? How would landfill separate them from Styrofoam?

The businesses here are afraid to raise their prices for fear of losing the local market.

So many issues, but yes, I would be willing to pay a bit more, but the food has to be decent, too. Have never tried High Tide. Nothing on the pre dinner menu has ever grabbed my attention.

Wellesley, Ma
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4. Re: Would you pay extra?

Depends on what you mean by eco-friendly. As I understand it, the only thing recycled on St. John is aluminum cans, so paying more for something that isn't recyclable on St. John would not make sense. If you mean products made with corn starch or paper that would be compostable, that would be great if there was someplace to compost them. If you mean paper versus styrofoam, that is a different question as there is evidence that styrofoam is actually better for the environment than paper, especially if that paper is coated and can't be recycled. In terms of reusable cups, that too is tough as water is so precious on the island. Now, if bartenders could just refill my painkiller in the same cup every time I asked for a new one - awesome!

As for straws, I actually ask that they not give me one in any drink I order, no matter where. I wish more places would make a habit of asking before they put a straw in a drink.

Also, I carry around reusable utensils made of bamboo, so I don't have to ask for plastic ones if I do take out or eat at a place with only plastic utensils. It would be great if someone sold them on St. John. Here are some examples of ones available:

thekitchn.com/green-on-the-go-10-reusable-ut…

I would guess that someone (St. John Spice or the National Park Store for example) could get some with a logo on it to sell.

Do any of the coffee places let you fill your own mug? That would be a great idea too.

Princeton, New...
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5. Re: Would you pay extra?

So I stay at the Westin. Poolside they have a drink which comes in a bucket cup. They charge you like $15 bucks for the first drink and you get refills for $12. I use it all week long. Expanding on Julie's question, the bars/restaurants should do a similar deal where you by a drink say at Woody's and you can use it at the Beach Bar or Joes Rum Hut, ect. Then you can take the cup home as a souvenir. Might save a few cups in the landfill. Have a new cup each year. I know I bring back a few Soggy Dollars cups each time I go.

St. John
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6. Re: Would you pay extra?

I guess when I was saying more eco-friendly, I was thinking of things that would break down given time (biodegradable) like paper based products. I do not claim to know a lot about this specific topic, so please forgive my ignorance, I am sure there are both positives and negatives to all sides of this discussion.

I took a quick look online and found that takeout containers in a biodegradable material run about 2.5 times more than a similar styrofoam container. I would imagine they probably weigh a bit more as well (affecting shipping costs).

As far as reusing cups… I often times bring a cup from home when I go out. Or if I need another cup at home, I will start at High Tide and get one of their reusable cups. I'm looking forward to adding to my Suga Shack collection too now that it is carnival time :) I'd love to see some more places offer the reusable plastic cups.

People used to refer to Cruz Bay beach as Straw Beach. I have noticed a big improvement there. Partly because people aren't using the straws (or don't get one) and partly because the bars located on the beach are pretty diligent about making sure the areas in front of their establishments are cleaned up.

Northern Virginia
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7. Re: Would you pay extra?

In the abstract, my answer is "absolutely yes"...but I think Banana covered my concerns quite nicely. That being said, making small changes (like limiting straws and offering reusable souvenir cups) seems like a good start.

Hollis, New...
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8. Re: Would you pay extra?

Yes, in general I am willing to pay more in almost any case of perceived greater environmental responsibility. I pay a lot more to buy local foods, etc., and I'm certainly willing to pay a few bucks extra to promote sustainability in terms of packaging and presentation.

We should be way past the point where nobody receives a straw without explicitly requesting one. Unfortunately, that's not the case.

The American habit of taking every "convenience" as a birthright ought to have been checked decades ago.

Philadelphia...
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9. Re: Would you pay extra?

I would be willing to pay more....no problem. I hate those nasty plastic containers. Refus to take anything home in them. Whatever leftover we may have from breakfast, lunch or dinner comes home in aluminum foil, so it ca be recycled.

We recycle, paper, aluminum, clear glass, brown glass and plastic bags. An empty roll of TP or paper towels go in with the paper. Only thin we're still trying to figure out are the plastic bags in our garbage cans.

California
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10. Re: Would you pay extra?

Why would the visitor need to pay for it? It's common on the U.S. mainland (at least west coast) that local government agencies require this recycling. The thought of using non recycling methods in the Bay Area is out of the question. Most places don't even allow plastic bags anymore. Even Hawaii recently started requiring reusable bags.

It's to bad the the USVI are this far behind in recycling, the local population should have a vested interest in protecting these beautiful islands. I bet the NPS on the islands require recycling, it's required in parks on the mainland.