How to Leave It All on the Table

Growing up my family didn’t go out to eat often. The times we did go out my sisters and I knew we only order water unless told otherwise. It was a treat to be able to get a lemonade or a soda. I’m not sure if it was because water was healthier or if it was because it was free. I don’t ever remember my parents reasoning for why we only ordered water. All I know is that not much changed when I was in college. Water was all I got when I went out. Unlike my uncertainty with my parents’ reasoning I knew why I always ordered water. It was free!


“I didn’t want water.”

This all started with a glass of water. A glass of water even evoked me to write a post last year called “Please Don’t Refill My Water”. Much of it was me expressing my frustration with the wasteful practices of the U.S. restaurant industry when it comes to serving water. In many ways this is part two to that post. Please ignore the fact that there’s plastic straws in my drink 😦 in that post. However, I am happy to say I have matured on how I address this concern of  water refills.

I decided to tackle this issue with more then just my words, venting to the internet world. I wanted to bring awareness to the seemingly silent issue of serving water practices at restaurants. It was an idea inspired by my hubby’s insight. He brought to my attention that I always complain to him.

 “Why didn’t they ask me first?”

He reminded me he can’t do anything. He is not the one pouring my water and adding my plastic straw. So I redirected my frustration to the right people, the waiters I interact with, in a healthy constructive way.

When I have a concern about a wasteful habit my waiter did, I vocalize it. Or better yet I write about it. I write it down on my receipt at the end of my meal. For instance, I know many restaurants in the U.S. train their employees to always fill up someone’s water. I try to keep that in mind as I write my message. I say something short and sweet and it’s not always eloquent nor grammatically correct but I always strive to be precise and clear. I call it the “Receipt Challenge”.


“Ugh it’s so frustrating when they don’t listen”


I started this challenge in 2017 and I plan to continue this effort until there’s no longer a need for it. It’s a responsibility that I am putting on myself that I am willing to do or at least continuously work on. The main goal is about creating a chance to educate others about some sustainable practices that could be implemented. During this process I am remaining open to this challenge being a work in progress that I can continuously refine. The hope is to make this an effective tool of communication.


I’m a vocal person that strives to be my most authentic self everyday. But I’m also aware that sometimes voicing things out loud can be hard or inconvenient. This challenge is for the subtle vocals out there. Sometimes it is easier to write things down. Words, in the right direction, are powerful.

This challenge takes a unique spin on how to “leave it all on the table”.

How do you vocalize a concern when talking about it isn’t always possible?

One thought on “How to Leave It All on the Table

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s