Reuse your plates, bowls, and utensils
Most hotels didn’t get the memo released in the ‘80s: Styrofoam is bad. But here it’s a necessary evil for folks who don’t want to cup their hands to hold milk and cereal. You’re going to make an environmental impact here, but you can reduce it by biting your lip and reusing the damn things when you go up for round two. There is no shame in using the same bowl you used for Froot Loops to get a round of Lucky Charms. And if you have your own plastic containers or plates on hand -- maybe you’re going camping, or maybe you’re a traveling Rubbermaid salesperson -- use those instead.
Do not linger
This is not a bar. It’s a place to recalibrate and get moving. You’re taking up precious real estate if you’re just sitting there, looking at your phone and waiting to be hungry again. Most people here are in a hurry. Cede some table space.
One or two things for the road is OK. Three is pushing it.
Blueberry muffins and single-servings of yogurt are finite resources. You should feel OK about taking some for the road, but not enough to sustain you on a non-stop road trip from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine. Your choices have an impact, and that impact might mean that nobody else gets to know the joys of a generic, mass-produced scone once you’ve hit the buffet like a doomsday prepper. Same goes for coffee: If you've got a to-go cup, by all means fill it. But a carafe or one of those huge 7-Eleven mugs means you're pushing it, and denying others simple pleasures like bad coffee.
You're mother is (probably) not here: Clean up after yourself
Tables are prime real estate in the breakfast bar, and nothing quite kills your appetite for warmed-over scrambled eggs like realizing the dude before you left 15 semi-full creamer containers, crumpled up napkins, and a half-eaten donut on the table, forcing you to temporarily transform into a busser. Look, accidents happen, and we're not crying over spilled milk. But we might yell at you over spilled milk if you leave a little white lagoon puddled up right next to the cereal, then casually walk away like a shitty little toddler. If you make a mess, clean it up.
If there is a tip jar, use it
“Ugh, I already have to tip the housekeeper, now I have to tip the kitchen staff,” you might say if you’re the kind of person who definitely isn’t invited to parties because you’re the worst. You just ate three plates of breakfast, likely made a huge mess, and took a handful of goodies for the road. You paid zero extra for this privilege. ("But I paid for the room," you contest, because, again, you are terrible). If there’s an option, the least you can do is chuck $1 in a jar for the people who warmed up your eggs and clean up after you.
MORE: You’re not tipping your hotel housekeeper enough