It’s that time of year again, and as our kids head back to school, we’ll be packing lunch after lunch in plastic baggies and sticking juice box after juice box in a brown paper sacks, right? But does it really have to be that wasteful and expensive? I don’t think so, and neither should you. There are a few small steps that we can take to limit our impact (and that of our children) of lunch waste and save us money too. We can teach our kids that by embracing the three Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), we can easily implement a smaller footprint on our planet by doing something as simple as slightly tweaking our lunchbox. Baby steps, people. Baby steps!
A few saddening facts about plastic & lunch waste (source: reuseit.com):
So what can we do to limit our impact of this waste? Simple. We can embrace a new idea and start using reusable items as a routine in our daily lives. The use-and-toss mentality is incredibly wasteful, and if we all did a little bit to help this pandemic cease to exist, then we would be doing our part globally. Our children learn from us, and if we teach them to reduce, reuse, and recycle and respect our planet a little bit more than we already do, then we are helping to pass on a better mentality to our next generation. Who doesn’t like to help be a part of the solution?
Reusable lunch products are available all over the web and increasingly so in more and more stores worldwide. I love the idea behind a lot of these products as they eliminate unnecessary plastic bags, baggies, and utensils. There are also many water bottles, thermoses, and cups that can be used as a trade-off from wasteful juice boxes and the likes.
We can make changes at the super market too. Big retailers such as Target, Kroger, and Whole Foods offer customers a nickel back per reusable tote bag that you use at check out. This discount may not sound like a lot, but over time, you are saving more and more money (and plastic bags from hitting the landfills). This incentive is a great way to encourage shoppers to bring their own bags and save resources. Also, by purchasing these $1.00 bags, many retailers give back some of the proceeds to charities and other non-profits. We can all learn to love that aspect of the game!
If you keep an eye out on discount websites, you’ll quickly find deals at 50% off retail (or more) for reusable goods along with other great hot commodities for kiddos. Some of my favorite websites to find these deals are zulily.com, mamapedia.com, and totsy.com. My friend at hipmountainmama.com also has a slew of reusable goods for your liking like bamboo utensils. Won’t you join me in the effort to lessen the amount of waste this school year? What types of steps do you and your family like to take to be more environmentally friendly?