It’s that time of the year, summer is winding down and the kids will be starting back to school. It can be a bit stressful and exciting both at the same time.

school-bus kids going to school packing zero waste lunchesOne of the things we need to start thinking about are the kid’s lunches and the importance of choosing reusable instead of throw-away, single-use plastics. That’s right, making a tasty lunch that is also waste-free. It works for grown-up lunches as well.

Remember the lunches that your mother used to make at a time before all our produce was shrink wrapped and plastic bagged? Fruit and vegetables were bought in bulk and usually carried home in a reusable bag brought to the store for that purpose. Back then your parents had it right and you can get it right also by going back to basics.

It’s not so difficult and actually made easier by the variety of reusable containers now available, and you will be surprised at how much money you will save.


Think Reusable and Buying in Bulk

Invest at the beginning in some good, reusable gear, like a metal water bottle and reusable lunch container, the days of “brown bagging” are so last year. There are kits of reusable snap top plastic containers that come in a variety of sizes; perfect for sandwiches, fruit or veggy slices and smaller items like nuts.

  • zero waste lunches reusable food containers water bottle sustainable lifestyleYour metal water bottle has the advantage of insulating your beverages to keep cool drinks cool, or hot drinks hot.
  • Instead of one-serving plastic containers of yogurt, fill a small reusable container with yogurt from a bulk container.
  • The same small, reusable containers will work for nuts and sliced fruit or vegetables.
  • Use a reusable spoon instead of single-use plastic cutlery
  • Your “snack packs” can be bought in bulk and used one at a time. Instead of individually wrapped “granola” bars. Or consider making your own just like your mother did, that will save you money and they will probably be healthier without preservatives.

Almost everything that you might want to pack into a lunch can be purchased in bulk rather than single use packages.


Saving Money While Saving the Planet

zero waste lunches, reusable, food containers and fruit sustainable lifestyleAfter several months of packing zero, think of all the single-use items that you no longer need, that in the past would have gone into the garbage, like; plastic bags, plastic cutlery; plastic bottles; napkins and paper bags. In a one month period you would be amazed how much plastic you no longer need and you’ll wonder why you ever used them in the past.

Here are some great sources for tips on packing lunches with zero waste:

Insulated Lunch Bags

Packing Zero Waste Lunches is part of our Zero Waste series that includes Zero Waste Travel and Living a Zero Waste Lifestyle.

By Robert Frerck, Blue Ocean Network


See these Related Blue Ocean Articles:

How can Going Zero save the Ocean?
Zero Waste Changes That Won’t Cost a Thing to Save Our Oceans
Environmental Books: Take One To The Beach This Summer
Living Green: How to get to a Sustainable Lifestyle!

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