In our waste filled lives, it’s important to do what we can to decrease the waste we’re contributing to the landfill
More and more schools are getting in on the act and requiring parents pack a waste free lunch some days of the week, if not all of them.
What does this mean exactly?
Try waste free
This means only packing items that can be composted or recycled and that won’t end up in the rubbish bin. That means, no plastic wrap, no foil, no zip lock bags and no packaged foods.
Following these rules can be tricky but it’s not impossible and this post is just an idea. First, you’ll need some containers – a lunch box with a variety of compartments works well or purchase a few smaller containers to hold different snacks.
Paper bags also come in handy – they can be recycled or composted, so they don’t need to be added to the garbage. Have a chat with your child about how to dispose of them.
Here are some other tips:
- Make a tray of muffins and keep them frozen. Remove one each morning and place it in the lunch box – it will thaw by lunch time.
- Make your own snack mix with dried fruit (apples, sultanas, banana), sunflower seeds, and put in in a container for recess.
- Make a smoothie at home and store it in a cold thermos that holds the temperature until recess or lunch time.
- Pack a handful of dried cereal (such as Weetabix bites or Cheerios) in a small reusable container.
- Cut your own cheese slices and place them with crackers in a smaller tupperware container.
- Pop your own popcorn and pack it in a paper bag. Remind your child to dispose of the paper bag in the recycle bin at school.
While it’s surprisingly easy to start controlling the amount of waste that leaves your home, it can be difficult to control how your children deal with wastage and recycling once they’re out of your hands and at school. To make the transition back to school a waste-free one, I’ve put together this guide to my favourite eco-friendly food storage alternatives.
Despite our best efforts, it can be difficult to ensure our approaches to recycling, waste and eco-friendly choices are passed onto our children, especially once they head off to school and are out of our care. It seems counter productive to spend time making your home an eco-friendly place, only to send your kids off to school with non-recyclable or reusable items! Some schools are now jumping on board with the War on Waste, but by making a few small changes to the way you wrap and pack school lunches, you can actually ensure the new school year is a waste-free one, with affordable eco-friendly food storage options available for every school lunchbox need.
How to reduce school lunch waste
For a long time it has seemed almost impossible to find eco-friendly alternatives to traditional disposable lunch bags and containers, such as cling wrap and zip-lock bags. Not to mention that we often just use disposables for the convenience factor! Fortunately, there are now plenty of wonderful recyclable and non-toxic options out there that are much better for the environment and the hip pocket, as they are nice and affordable and designed to last forever, even in the roughness of life in the schoolbag.
I suggest opting for a few reliable and versatile storage options to ensure you’ll never need to reach for the plastic again, such as a good water bottle, sturdy lunchbox, reusable snack and sandwich bags, and some flexible food wraps.
Some zero waste school lunchboxes and food storage:
Full Circle Ziptuck Reusable Snack Bags
For keeping lunchbox snacks nice and fresh, I love the BPA free Ziptuck Reusable Snack Bags. Here are some on Amazon –
A great alternative to disposable snack bags, you can easily clean them and use them over and over rather than having to throw them out after one use, plus they’re sustainably made and designed to last. They come in lots of prints that the kids will love.
Stainless Steel Drink Bottles
Keeping kids hydrated is so important, particularly as they run around and play during summer lunch times, but I hate the idea of sending the kids to school with a disposable plastic water bottle which they’ll probably end up throwing in the bin instead of recycling. I love the idea of Stainless Steel Drink Bottles because it is actually made from food-grade stainless steel, which means it is BPA-free, non-leaching, and safe for your kids to reuse over and over again. It’s also surprisingly lightweight, so your kids won’t complain about having to lug a heavy steel bottle around, plus it features an easy-to-use drinking straw for quick and easy sips.
Featured a stainless steel bottle on my instagram post!
Full Circle Ziptuck Reusable Lunch Bag – 2 Pack
The Full Circle Ziptuck Reusable Lunch Bag – 2 Pack is also a great option as you get a small snack bag and a larger, flat sandwich-sized bag. The kids will love these as they can choose between the Emoji print or a fun Monster print, and each bag is easy to open and close yet won’t spill in their lunchbox or schoolbag thanks to the leak-proof design.
Eco Meal Prep Lunchbox
Need an eco-friendly option to pack all of these snacks and lunches in? You’ll love the Eco Meal Prep Lunchbox. It’s made of the highest-quality, food-grade stainless steel so it’s safe for the kids and the environment, plus it’s non-leaching and odour-resistant so it won’t ever affect the flavour of your food. This durable lunchbox is also lightweight and stain-resistant, plus it features easy side clips to keep the lid secure.
Seen some amazing ideas on Pinterest!
I’ve also been sent some reusable nappies ‘or diapers’ in American term to use all the way from the USA! How cute are these! More information on these in a separate blog post.
Below are some facts from Earthday.org
EARTH DAY 2018 | END PLASTIC POLLUTION
10 Shocking Facts About Plastic Pollution
Plastic pollution is killing our planet! It’s choking our oceans, poisoning our food and water supply, and wreaking havoc on the health and well-being of humans and wildlife worldwide
Use these ten shocking facts about the scope of plastic pollution to educate, inspire and mobilize your friends, family, coworkers and community to join the movement to END PLASTIC POLLUTION this Earth Day.
|FACT #1||8.3 BILLION Metric Tons (9.1 BILLION US Tons) of plastic has been produced since plastic was introduced in the 1950s. The amount of plastic produced in a year is roughly the same as the entire weight of humanity. |
|FACT #2||Virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some shape or form (with the exception of the small amount that has been incinerated).|
|FACT #3||91% of plastic waste isn’t recycled. And since most plastics don’t biodegrade in any meaningful sense, all that plastic waste could exist for hundreds or even thousands of years.|
|FACT #4||500 MILLION plastic straws are used EVERY DAY in America. That’s enough to circle the Earth twice.|
|FACT #5||Nearly TWO MILLION single-use plastic bags are distributed worldwide every minute.|
|FACT #6||100 BILLION plastic bags are used by Americans every year. Tied together, they would reach around the Earth’s equator 773 times!|
|FACT #7||ONE MILLION plastic bottles are bought EVERY MINUTE around the world — and that number will top half a TRILLION by 2021. Less than half of those bottles end up getting recycled.|
|FACT #8||8 MILLION METRIC TONS of plastic winds up in our oceans each year. That’s enough trash to cover every foot of coastline around the world with five full trash bags of plastic…compounding every year. |
|FACT #9||There is more microplastic in the ocean than there are stars in the Milky Way.|
|FACT #10||If plastic production isn’t curbed, plastic pollution will outweigh fish pound for pound by 2050.|