Roughly 25% of all waste material generated by a household is due to food packaging. How can we cut down on our landfill contributions and still maintain the quality of our take-along meals?
Keep fruit whole. When we slice fruit ahead of time, all those little pieces require a bag or container for transport. Keeping it whole eliminates the need for further packaging. If peeling an orange or tackling a whole apple is too big a task for your little ones, use a reusable container they can bring home, instead of a plastic baggie to throw away.
Avoid single-serving packets and ready-made lunch trays. The convenience of pre-portioned packaging is tempting! Try to remember that every peel-off plastic top and crinkly wrapper can only be dumped in the trash. Investing in set of multi-sized reusable containers can help you determine your own portion for packing.
Choose the right container for taste and freshness. According to the Institute of Food Technologies, “The inertness and absolute barrier properties of glass make it the best material for most packaging.” Mason jars come in all shapes and sizes, are leak proof, and wash easily. However, glass can pose a safety hazard for small children. If plastic containers are a must, look for a set that is BPA free, sturdy, and can be recycled when the time comes.
Little changes like these add up to make a huge impact on the amount of waste we generate. As we pack these lunches for our kids, we can feel good about taking care of our family and our planet at the same time.
Written by Tanja Pavlovic