As students (and their parents) get ready for back to school season, you may be wondering about how to pack an eco-friendly lunch. Read on for our list of top ways to be environmentally conscious in preparing a midday meal. With a little forethought and planning, you could even cut back on the cost of packaging and restaurant meals!
- Choose a reusable lunch box
Head to your local grocery store or online retailer to check out a variety of soft or hard-cased lunchboxes that keep your student’s lunch insulated and cut down on paper or plastic bag usage.
- Use reusable containers
There are many dishwasher-safe containers that can be reused again and again, rather than single-use items and plastic baggies. You’ll save money too, as you buy fewer disposable containers. Also pack silverware or bamboo utensils to further reduce waste.
- Buy in bulk
Rather than mini-packs of chips or cookies, consider buying grain items in bulk and refilling containers with the appropriate serving size. You’ll avoid excess packaging in the form of cardboards and plastics. But remember, most cardboard can be recycled or even composted, and aluminum foil is also recyclable (so long as it’s not too greasy).
- Use reusable water bottles
Water is good for you! But purchasing single-use plastic water bottles? Not so great for the environment. Consider investing in a few reusable water bottles or beverage containers for hot or cold drinks. They’ll last longer, and you’ll avoid having to pay for water as well.
- Consider a cloth napkin
Rather than paper towels or paper napkins, think about using cloth napkins, which can be thrown in the washing machine after use.
- Pack fresh food when possible
Some fruits and veggies such as apples and bananas are easy to throw in a lunch sack (or reusable bag.) Plus, the cores and peels can be composted, meaning you’ll avoid throwing anything into the trashcan.