The Trash-Free Lunch

The Trash-Free LunchTrying to stay healthy by packing your own lunch, but feel like you’re creating a lot of waste? Consider working toward a zero-waste lunch.

Lunches packed without disposable bags and containers will not only save you time and money (up to $250 per year, according to wastefreelunches.org), but they will lower your carbon footprint by reducing the amount of waste you contribute to your local landfill or incinerator.     

Here are some tips for creating a trash-free lunch: 

  • Store food in reusable containers (for example, glass or Tupperware).
  • Use an insulated mug or stainless-steel bottle to keep drinks cool or hot.
  • Use cloth napkins and washable utensils/dishes instead of disposable.
  • Reuse containers.
  • Bring your lunch in a reusable bag or box.

Packing a trash-free lunch is not only good for the environment, but good for your health, too. Pre-packaged foods are highly processed and do not provide much nutrition.

Also consider upcycling hard-to-recycle items such as chip bags and juice boxes. If you have kids in school, help them reduce their waste. Check out TerraCycle and UMB Go Green’s simple tips for the zero-waste lunch.

— Tracy Gnadinger

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