If you haven’t heard recently, plastic sucks! (Check out my piece about why plastic water bottles are the devil here). 50 percent of all plastics we use are single use — meaning that we use them once, then throw them away. Even worse, the average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic per year…. The same weight of a full grown man.
If you’re looking to curb your plastic consumption, start by evaluating how you pack your lunch. On the go lunches are notorious for being encased in plastic baggies or other single use materials like wrappers and napkins. Consider changing your habits by packing your own zero-waste lunch!
What’s zero waste?
Zero waste is a philosophy that commits to sending no (or very little) trash to landfills. That means you use and consume the things you own. Just think, even one little change in your lunchtime habits could eliminate waste!
Try out some or all of these tips to help reduce your lunchtime impact.
Even if you think that reusing that plastic Walmart bag is useful, you’re better off sticking to one reusable lunch bag (and using reusable grocery bags for grocery shopping!). It will last you much longer, and will store your food better.
Skip on disposable accessories
Avoid single use disposable items, including plastic baggies, cutlery, napkins, and straws. These items add up in terms of waste and money if you’re using them every single day. Use reusable containers and mason jars to compartmentalize your food. Bring your silverware from home and challenge yourself to use reusable napkins if you get a chance. As for the straw? Try ditching it altogether. The landfills and your wallet will thank you.
Real food, not processed
The foods with minimal packaging are usually the most nutritious! (Think fruits and vegetables). Avoid easy, on the go, individually wrapped items and opt towards making your own snacks instead. Less waste, and better for you!
Experiment with new recipes
Challenge yourself to eat new homemade foods. For example, work in a couple salads into your week, and get creative with different kinds of sandwiches. You’ll save yourself money by sticking to pantry ingredients, plus homemade meals can be packed with nutrition. Check out these recipes specifically designed to produce zero waste.
Do you have any additional tips on creating a zero-waste lunch? Share them below!