Green Tip Tuesdays is all about little tips and tricks to go greener in your life. We all know to turn off the lights and lower our thermostats and those are great things to do that will save you money too (by the way, if you haven’t switched to compact light bulbs yet, you are spending more money than you need to be!) but there are a lot of little tips that I come across that help us to be greener, more efficient and save money in our day to day lives that I’d love to share with you.
So today’s tip is the zero waste lunch box! This can be for your kids at school or for yourself if you bring lunch to work. Zero waste lunch boxes are all about getting rid of the disposables. You generate less trash, which is good for the earth and it’s packed landfills AND you save money because you are not consuming as much.
What does a zero waste lunch look like? Well, first you replace those drink boxes and juice bottles with a reusable bottle. You can find these bottles anywhere from online to grocery stores. They come in all sizes, shapes and colors so they’re fun for your kids too. We all know that kids leave things behind and lose stuff all the time, at least mine do, so you don’t have to go crazy with these. They range from $2 to $20. Yes, my kids get the $2 version!! You don’t want to lose a beautiful stainless steel $20 bottle every other month!
Secondly, replace your plastic sandwich baggies with reusable containers. Again, you can find them in all shapes and sizes for everything from soups to sandwiches and snacks. If you don’t like the idea of using plastic containers there are lots of companies that are now manufacturing stainless steel lunch containers, and BPA free plastic has become quite easy to find. Bento box style containers work great since they are all inclusive but separating them into various little containers that you already have laying around the kitchen works great too!
Finally, pack your own snacks! What do I mean by this? Well, I’m the first to admit that the easiest and fastest route is to buy prepackaged snacks like granola bars and individual sized crackers packs, etc. We do it and it’s convenient, but here’s why I’m trying to break that habit. 1) Have you ever read the ingredients list of what’s in those processed food packs? Yikes. 2) It does create a lot more waste 3) Most of those types of foods are packed with sugar – not exactly brain food for our kids! So my suggestion is to instead buy snacks that are easy to pack yourself (in your reusable containers of course!) Carrot sticks, cut up apples, cheese and whole grain crackers, celery sticks with some peanut butter on them, etc… You know, the old school stuff… Real food!! You’ll create less waste, you’ll save money and your kids will eat better. Your kids will probably turn up their noses at first but keep at it and they’ll get used to it and may even start enjoying it!
I know what you’re saying – who has the time? True, it takes some effort, no doubt about it, but I would argue that it’s worth it! For the planet, your pocketbooks and most importantly, for your kids. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about trying to implement little things in your life that are better for everyone involved. Planning ahead helps too, don’t try to figure all this out during the morning mayhem of getting ready for school! Am I the only one that experiences morning mayhem? Somehow I doubt it…
Have any great tips for making life a little greener? Leave me a comment, I want to hear from you!