1. Eliminate or reduce lunch packaging.
When I went to visit my son’s school I was shocked at how much each child throws away each day at lunch. When I was in elementary school they used trays and plates that they washed. Today many schools use cardboard trays and disposables. To go green, look for ways to eliminate or reduce packaging.
|image by rachelandrew|
Get a reusable lunch bag – I love the bento boxes because they also mean no plastic bags because there is a space and divider for each item. There are even reusable sandwich bags – but I haven’t had the discipline to do that yet. You can find a nice selection of these types of products at http://www.pristineplanet.com
Another way to reduce waste that you don’t have to pack out is to reuse containers. A yogurt container can be washed and hold snacks or cut up fruit. While it’s still thrown out, you eliminated having to use new packaging.
2. Cut down on food waste.
Pack foods your children like and will eat. I always look to see what my son has eaten or isn’t eaten. If there is a lot of an item coming home, I stop putting it in his lunch. I want to pack him a nutritious lunch but also cut down on how much food he throws away. Pack lunches in the right portion so there’s not a lot of extra food being thrown out.
3. Use reusable utensils.
I found a spork at Eddie Bauer that I love. It has a serrated edge for cutting, a spoon and a fork. I carry it in my purse. It’s easy to clean, lightweight and comes in handy for lunch or anytime I need a spoon. Some lunch bags have a separate pouch so you don’t have to remember to pack it each day. You can take this a step further with reusable drink boxes or drink bottles.
Fresh foods often come with less waste than processed foods and are better for your family. A banana has a biodegradable wrapper. So do oranges or our favorite – cuties. Buying products (like chips) in bulk and bagging your own smaller portions can also save money and cut down on waste.