Here at The Soulful Tribe we take a conscious approach to all aspects of our life, not just our health, because the Planet and the future of our Children is our priority and you should make it yours too!
In our waste filled lives, it’s important to do whatever we can to decrease the waste we’re contributing to the billions of tonnes of landfill every year. It has been estimated that the average school student’s lunchbox generates 30 kg’s of rubbish each year! It’s not just the kids contributing to this either, plastic has become a staple in all of our pantries. Plastic wrap, plastic bags, juice boxes and pre-packaged snack food wrappers are all contributing to a mountain of unnecessary waste, which ends up in landfill and our oceans endangering our eco systems and marine life.
So what does a waste-free lunch mean exactly? Waste-free means only packing items that can be composted or recycled and that won’t end up in the garbage bin. That means, no plastic wrap, no foil, no zip lock bags and no packaged foods.
A plastic free lunch box helps reduce the demand for plastic in our world, as well as having health benefits by reducing your exposure to the toxins found in many plastic lunch boxes, such as lead, BPA, phthalates and PVC. Following these rules can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. To reduce the waste of throw away packaging and help stop litter in our water ways and polluting the environment, it essential we all start doing our bit in any way we can.
For those trying to achieve a plastic free lunch box, it can be a little overwhelming trying to source products that do not contain any plastic parts, or harmful materials. Ever Eco is a favourite of ours and our go to for sourcing all your sustainable options that are gentler on our planet. They have a great range of stainless steel bento lunch boxes, containers, bamboo cutlery, drinking cups and straws as well as organic cotton net tote and muslin produce bags. You can check out more of their range here at Ever Eco
Packing a waste free lunchbox for yourself or your kids will not only reduce your impact on the environment, it will also save you money and help your kids eat healthier by avoiding packaged and processed foods.
We’ve put together a few simple tips below to help you get started on your journey of reducing the amount of waste you use packing lunches:
1 – Make a commitment to give up plastic wrap for good
It’s hard starting out to get used to the idea, but we promise you once you start and use reusable alternatives it just becomes habit. Sourcing the right lunchbox and/or containers are essential to ensure you don’t resort back to cling wrap or plastic zip lock bags. You can go for an all-in-one lunchbox with separate compartments for different foods, or a collection of different sized reusable containers for lunch items like sandwiches, sushi, cut up fruit, yoghurt and dips, which you can then pack into a separate insulated bag. Stainless steel is a great choice for lunchboxes as it is easy to clean, durable and food safe.
2 – Say goodbye to packaged food
When selecting foods and snacks, the idea is to buy things that are not individually wrapped in plastic. Buying cheese, dried fruits, nuts, biscuits and other nutritious items in bulk not only saves money but also allows you to create your own portion sizes suitable to your child. Swap packets of biscuits or individually wrapped muesli bars for healthier home-made alternatives like our delicious range of bake mixes and pack straight into a lunchbox or container. Yes, it’s super convenient buying those plastic or foil wrapped biscuits, chips and muesli bars, but these foods are heavily processed, low in nutrition, expensive and way over packaged.
3 – Buy food in bulk
Consume less waste and get better value for your money, it’s a win-win for you and the Environment. Instead of buying individual plastic wrapped processed cheese sticks, buy a large block of cheese and cut into sticks, cubes or shapes. Swap flavoured single use yoghurt containers that are high in sugar and unnecessary packaging for a large tub of yoghurt that can be portioned into small containers or reusable pouches through the week.
4 – Invest in a reusable drink bottle
A good quality stainless steel bottle will last for many years and will help you avoid those plastic bottles and boxes of juice that are high in sugar, low in nutrition and create excess waste.
And the great thing is you will be cutting down on your already expensive weekly shopping bill by eliminating the purchase of water bottles or juice pop-tops.
5 – Compost food waste
Find out if your school has a composting program, and if not get involved to help them start one. Composting food scraps saves a huge amount of waste going to landfill. If you have your own compost system, ask your kids to bring their food scraps home. This is something the whole family can get involved in and is actually a really fun process to watch your food get broken down and used in areas around your garden.
We hope you enjoyed these simple tips to get you started on your journey of reducing your contribution to the war on waste.
Sending you love and gratitude on your sustainable journey!