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Quitting the McDonalds Habit

I'll say what most people think, but won't ever admit. I love McDonald's food. After working there for about three weeks, and learning all about the menu, I would go...let's just say often. It's cheap, easy, and tastes good. For a broke college student, that's the holy trinity of food. It was also super unhealthy, which I was aware of. In order to at least try to be healthy I would get a side salad instead of fries, drink water instead of soda, and add leaf lettuce and tomato to my McChicken. It's not so bad that way, right? Oh, and a medium mocha frappe, thanks!

McDonald's is my go to place for food, but I'm going to change that. I'm still a broke college student with not enough time, but I know I have to change. Despite what you may be thinking, this desire wasn't caused by the documentary Super Size Me (I saw that years before my McDonald's habit formed), but instead because of the documentary Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

In my quest to go green, I bought a reusable to-go coffee cup. Now, I'm not a big coffee fan, but I LOVE sugar with coffee on the side. Also known as frappes, mochas, lattes, frappuccinos...--Drinks I buy out rather than make at home. I took my new to-go cup and proudly walked into McDonald's. After ordering, I requested that they put my mocha in my to-go cup instead of using a disposable one.  "Uh, I don't know if I can do that..." said the kid behind the counter.
"Can you check, please?" I asked politely.
"Sure, one sec."
He disappeared, leaving me waiting as patiently as someone who's just slightly late for work can.
When he finally came back with the answer, it was, "Sorry, I can't put it in there, but you can."
...What? So I can transfer it from the disposable cup, into my reusable one, and then throw away the disposable cup anyway? What was the point of that? I'd already paid, so I just took my mocha in it's cardboard cup. Here I'd wasted time actually going in, instead of using the drive through, and hadn't even done the Earth any good!

But the experience got me thinking. Sure, the bag was paper and could be recycled, but what about the other packaging? The plastic wrapper around the sandwich, the plastic clam shell that contained the salad, the plastic fork I used to eat it, the plastic around the plastic fork, not to mention the cup my mocha was in! And in the summer, when that hot mocha would be an icy mocha frappe (can you tell how much I like mochas?) the entire cup would be non-biodegradable plastic!

Just as McDonald's isn't good for me, it's not good for our planet either, and as much as I could pretend "it's not that bad for me, I'm getting a salad after all!" there's no way around the fact it's not eco-friendly. Which is why I've decided to quit. McDonald's cannot be my go-to place anymore. I'll have to figure out what to eat instead (ew, buying groceries and cooking), make sure I have a plan for what I'm going to eat when I'm out and about (it's convenience is dangerous), and undownload the app from my phone (so many coupons, so many good deals...), but I can do it! I will kick this McDonald's habit, creating a healthier body and planet in the process!


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