8 tips for waste free lunch boxes
Have you been tasked by your child's school with packing a waste free lunch box? It's a great idea, here are some tips, kid-friendly recipes and products to make it easy.
Why pack a waste free lunch box?
The latest research from the Government of Western Australia (see more here) found that a child’s packed school lunch creates about 3kg of waste per child each year. Multiply that by 350 kids in an average primary school, and that’s over 10 tonnes of waste every year - just from one school! It’s clear that making a small switch to eco-friendly alternatives can make a huge difference to what goes into landfill.
What is a waste free lunch box?
A waste free lunch box is one that only contains packaging that can be composted or recycled, and nothing that goes into garbage bins and landfill. That means no plastic, no foil, no zip-lock bags and no packaged foods. Thankfully, there are plenty of tips and products that make this easy!
How do you pack a waste free lunch?
1. Lunch box: Buy a good quality non-toxic, durable lunch box that has a variety of compartments and is large enough to hold smaller sealable containers.
2. Snack containers: Purchase reusable smaller containers to hold snacks.
3. Water bottle: Invest in a reusable stainless steel or BPA free plastic water bottle.
4. Reducing plastic: Have you seen the latest trends for reusable packaging? Products like beeswax wraps are great because they can be used several times and then get composted. Reusable silicone bags are popular too, they can be used hundreds of times saving you money on buying new packaging.
5. Reusable cutlery: Swap out single-use plastic utensils for biodegradable or reusable cutlery.
6. Homemade snacks: Even small amounts of packaging on snacks like muesli bars and a box of sultanas have an impact. Make these snacks at home or buy them in bulk so the kids can still enjoy them without waste. These nut-free muesli bars are a great option, or these fruit and nut popcorn balls.
7. Make your own baked goods: Making your own baked goods is often much cheaper than buying them. Freezer-friendly recipes are especially convenient to batch cook, and they can be put straight into the lunch box while frozen and they will defrost by recess.
8. Whole fruit: send fruits such as apples, bananas and mandarins to school to skip any extra packaging. Check out a nifty trick below for sending apples to school!
More waste free lunch box ideas
Scroll through recipes below that you can pop into your kids’ lunch boxes. Check out these No-sandwich Lunch Ideas, and Healthier Snacks for even more inspiration.
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