Eco-Friendly Lunchtime Tips

person carrying basket of vegetables
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What do you bring for lunch?

Do you usually eat out rather than bring your lunch to school or work? Bringing a homemade lunch is a great way to reduce your plastic consumption, especially if you start using the packaging methods that are listed below!  Ordering lunch to-go creates a lot of unnecessary waste. Your food is packaged in disposal containers, which are then placed into a paper or plastic bag, along with a set of disposal utensils. Bringing pre-packaged meals isn’t any better. More restaurants and companies now use biodegradable cups, utensils and containers, but it’s important to keep in mind that these items still take a while to break down, even if disposed of correctly.

Don’t be afraid to make a little extra food for dinner and eat your leftovers for lunch the next day. Also, if you enjoy your lunch salads, just buy all of your favorite salad ingredients, mix them together at home and you’ll have enough salad for the week. Those individual small salads are expensive, so you’ll save money by mixing your own! As for those individually packaged snacks we all love, you might want to challenge yourself to make your own snacks, such as chips, trail mixes or granola bars.

How do you pack your lunch? 

Do you use Ziplock baggies, plastic wrap, aluminum foil or brown paper bags? The good news is, there are sustainable alternatives for all of these products!

Rather than packing your carrots in a plastic baggy, you can store them in a reusable snack bag. These bag come in many different materials, different sizes, patterns and styles. In addition, they are usually machine/dish washable!

Instead of wrapping your sandwich in aluminum foil or plastic wrap, try out reusable food wraps. The heat of your hand allows the wrap to cling to your food and when you are done, they can be rinsed with cold water and dish soap. These also come in many sizes and patterns.

Also, don’t forget that food containers are always a simple and easy alternative. Try to use glass food containers because harmful chemicals can leach into your food when plastic containers are heated.  If food containers are too bulky for you to lug around, you might want to try out Stashers reusable silicone food bags. They are very functional! You can cook, bake, microwave and freeze your food in these reusable bags.

Lastly, ditch those brown paper bags and invest in a lunch box, bag or tote. Don’t forget to pack a set of reusable utensils and a water bottle to take with you. 

*If you chose to order these items from Amazon, make sure to ask for frustration free packaging!

 

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