Take Your Litterless Lunch From Zero to Hero

Ditch the plastic this September and cash in on lots of unexpected benefits 

Freaky fact: the average Canadian family of four uses over 1000 plastic bags per year. The good news: reducing your contribution to that scary stat is super easy and will save you a ton of cash in the long run. Once you get started, you’ll quickly discover many extra advantages. We promise you’ll never go back. We’ve got everything you need to get into the groove. Bon appetit!

Start the day with a DIY coffee to-go

You don’t have to kick your coffee habit, just try to limit your paper cup consumption. Every time you get a coffee to-go from a coffee shop, it comes with a plastic lid, cardboard sleeve, and maybe even one of those little plastic sticks you can stick in the drinking hole so no heat gets out. Man, is that ever a lot of waste for one little drink. Make coffee at home. Bring it to go in a vaccuum sealed travel mug. This one will stay hot for up to 5 hours.

If you really want to go the extra mile, make tea with a reusable bag or coffee with a reusable filter.

Let your favourite foods breathe with the right packaging

Avoid sweaty cheese and sad looking veggies. Sticking them in a plastic bag will such the life out of them. The beeswax coated Abeego food wrap lets food breathe, so it’s still fresh by lunch. Abeego also has the solution for stashing leftovers in the fridge. These flat wraps make a great plastic alternative to cover bowls. They’re hard when cool, and malleable when warm. 

Fuel up for a long day and avoid squashage with stainless steel 

If you’re leaving the house in the AM and not returning till late, you’ll need adequate fuel. Make sure none of it gets annihilated in a bookbag or backpack. Stainless steel is the way to go. Litterless lunch cries for this 3 tiered stackable food carrier which lets you protect three meals at once – no plastic, paints or dyes involved. For kids, this set of 3 nesting trio is great for carrying snacks and meals of different portion sizes.

Say goodbye to plastic cutlery

Who can actually get a proper bite of pasta salad with a wimpy plastic fork, anyway? Bamboo is where it’s at. This bamboo fork, knife, spoon and chopsticks set comes in its own carrying kit and is slim enough to fit in a purse.  If “someone” in your household happens to have a chronic losing problem, we’ve got biodegradable potato starch cutlery for that, too.

Awesome graphic art on a lunch bag goes a long way for kid appeal.

Give your kid super eco-awareness powers with an organic cotton lunch bag with some comic book inspired art on it.

Don’t forget, a truly litterless lunch goes beyond the lunchbox. Here are some tips to keep in mind when shopping for lunchables:

  • When you hit the bulk store, bring your own containers.
  • Avoid single serving snacks that have packaging in packaging in packaging (granola bars, cookies, etc. Buy in bulk and stash individual servings in reusable containers if you want.
  • If you already make your own muffins and cookies, consider making other staples like yogurt and juice. If you’re not so savvy in the kitchen, we hear you. Just keep an eye on the packaging that tends to come along with most of these items. And maybe you can barter one of your valuable skills in exchange for a lemon poppyseed loaf. Just a suggestion.
  • Don’t forget to take proper care of your reusable containers to keep ‘em fresh and maximize their lifespan.

Good luck with packing a litterless lunch! If you are interested in receiving articles like this, sign up to our newsletter here:

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Kait Fowlie (@kaitfowlie) is a freelance writer, vegetarian, and craft enthusiast who writes mostly about issues around urban sustainability. She is always on the lookout for fun eco-happenings in Toronto. Kait enjoys diners, dive bars, and picnics in Trinity Bellwoods. You can read her articles at shedoesthecity.combunchfamily.ca and citybites Magazine.

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