When packing lunches to take to school or work, many people automatically think about convenience. Individually wrapped snacks, small bags of chips, and beverages in disposal containers are certainly convenient. However, this convenience is generating mountains of garbage headed for our landfills. In fact, according to 3greenmoms, each child who takes a lunch to school creates 67 pounds of waste each school year!
What can be done about this?
The solution is really pretty simple, and truly not that much more work. It also can result in significant savings at the grocery store. Pack your family’s lunches in reusable containers, bring them home and wash them, and do it all again!
There are many ingenious containers out there for lunches these days—stainless steel bowls with snap-tight lids, clever one-piece boxes, traditional Rubbermaid containers, and even Japanese-inspired bento boxes. A quick walk through most grocery or discount stores will yield many choices. However, you might already have perfectly good containers in your cupboard. For example, a plastic margarine tub will work well for chips, cookies, grapes or pretzels.
Buying food in a family-sized package and then just using the amount you need for your child’s lunch will be cheaper and also will cut down on the amount of food that gets wasted. If you pack a whole sandwich every day and find half of it coming home each day, perhaps only a half sandwich is the right sized portion.
The resources below will link you to lots of information and products to make your family’s quest into the world of Waste Free Lunches fun and convenient. Be sure to check out all the other great resources at earth911 as well.