Every year, a single person can send as much at 4 thousand disposable lunch items to the landfill. Those disposable lunch items, will also cost that person $453.60 over the course of the year (and that doesn’t even include the lunch foods!). A healthy, home-made lunch on the go at school or work shouldn’t be expensive! Really, it doesn’t have to be expensive, by making these 3 simple switches you can keep trash out of the landfill, while saving money!
Ready to make the change? It’s easy: Ditch the single use disposable lunch items like plastic bags, plastic forks and knives and select reusable options instead! While these may cost a little more upfront, they will save you in the long term with years of reuse, and by keeping thousands and thousands of pieces of trash out of the landfill.
Switch the Brown Paper Bag for a Reusable Lunch Bag or Box
The brown bag lunch is ubiquitous, but isn’t always that practical. The paper bags rip and tear, and do an abysmal job keeping lunch items cool or hot. Forget it if they get wet! Reusable lunch bags are much more practical! They are long-lasting, come in a variety of styles, and can have useful features like insulation and waterproofing. So instead of brown bagging it, select a resusable bag, like these from ECOlunchbox or durable metal lunch & bento boxes. My personal favorite is the Furoshiki , but there are styles that are perfect for any taste from kids to adults!
Switch Plastic Containers for Metal
Sure, the “free” plastic containers from lunch meat can be reused, and who hasn’t amassed a huge collection of them taking up half a cupboard or two? But they eventually get stained (looking at you tomato based anything), acquire funny smells, break, crack, or the top goes missing. Metal containers are easily recyclable, and will last you way longer than your plastic containers and take more abuse! Metal containers with silicon lids are nearly indestructible and perfect for your snacks and lunches on the go. They come in a variety of sizes for easy single servings, to larger sizes perfect for your family picnic or trip.
Switch Plastic Cutlery for Wood or Metal
Oh, plastic cutlery. It is convenient, but reusable, DURABLE? – not so much. Raise your hand if you’ve ever had your plastic fork break mid meal? *raises hand* Mmm, plastic bits. Wood utensils on the other hand are not only MUCH better looking, but much more durable and reliable. I’ve had wooden spoons that I’ve used for cooking for years, not counting my inherited wooden spoons from my mom, which are at least as old as me! With a little care, your wood utensils can last a life time. That’s why I love this adorable wooden spork from ECOlunchboxes. Cute, cheap, and practical, what more could you want?
BONUS TIP! Switch Plastic Wrap to Reusable Wraps
Let’s face it, plastic wrap is convenient and useful for those foods that don’t fit well in a container. However, it’s wasteful and let’s be honest a bit of a pain. How often does your plastic wrap stick to everything but the thing you want it to stick to? How often does it stick to itself before you even had a change to cover your food? All the time? That’s my experience. There are alternatives out there! Bee’s Wrap is a beeswax coated fabric that can be used to keep your sandwiches and other snacks fresh, covered and contained, without the waste (and hassle) of plastic wrap.
Small changes can make a big impact. Going green doesn’t have to be expensive, in fact it’s one of the best way to save money. By changing from single use items to multiple use items you can save money in the long run and keep trash out of the landfills. Lunch should be healthy and nutritious, not wasteful and expensive.