Low waste lunchboxes.
Lunch boxes can be a constant chore. Planning what to pack, making them balanced, keeping the kids (or adults!) happy and full and that’s before you start to consider the packaging.
In our home we have been trying to lower our waste (we are on the long road to zero waste) and have been working hard to reduce our single use plastic. I find the snack cupboard is our worst offender.
However, with a few easy changes you can turn a lunchbox from disposable packaging nightmare, to a reusable container dream without loosing the children’s favourite treats or costing extra on the weekly shop.
5 steps to low waste lunch boxes.
1. Bake – baking bread at home and baking your own cakes can make a huge difference to your packaging waste. I find a bread maker very helpful for this – I picked mine up on ebay, at a very reasonable price. Top tip – do the dough in the machine, then pop it in a loaf tin, let it rise and then bake in the oven – tastes better and no annoying hole for the sandwiches. Alternatively buy bread packaging free from a local market. Bake a cake. It may sound like a constant chore, but if you make a loaf cake and cut it into slices, it will last the week and replace those individually wrapped cake or biscuit bars.
2. Buy in large packets and portion out. This works for crisps and biscuits. Instead of a biscuit bar in an individual wrapper and outer packaging choose to buy a packet of biscuits and put one biscuit in a container each day. It’s the same type of treat, but you will have reduced the plastic packaging by over 50% and it works out cheaper too. Crisps in multi bags or large tubes can be easily portioned out into containers for the lunch box. Again dramatically reducing your packaging waste without the children complaining about the loss of their favourite food.
3. Choose the shopping based on the packaging. I’m sure this is something you do all the time. Have a look at the items for sale – choose the product with the lowest plastic. So the bar wrapped in foil and paper inside the plastic multi-pack over the one in a plastic multi pack and plastic individual wrappers.
4. Swap packaged fruit for fresh. This one is probably obvious. Instead of pineapple in a plastic pout, buy a fresh one, cut it up and pop in a reusable tub. Yes, it’s a bit more work, but not much. Or go for the tin and portion out.
5. Buy from a refill shop. If you are lucky enough to have one locally, if not buy a bulk bag and portion out. Refill shops have amazing choice, yoghurt raisins, dried fruit, seasoned snack sticks (some even have crisps!), sweets and chocolate buttons or chips. One of my other favourites is pop corn kernels – pop them at home and replace those pesky crisps with lovely popcorn!
Sounds easy and simple, right? Of course if you want to you can go further – making your own yoghurt, homemade biscuit and snack bars, making sure the sandwich fillings come from the deli in your own containers. Or you can make a small change at a time and aim for one thing to change.
It doesn’t mean buying new or expensive containers; check out our blog on easy reusable product swaps https://tillyboos.co.uk/elementor-656/ for top tips on items you have at home that can be reused. Supplement with our snack pouches https://tillyboos.co.uk/product/reusable-sandwich-pouch-reusable-snack-pouch/ sandwich wraps or bees wax wraps sets https://tillyboos.co.uk/product/bees-wax-wraps-set/ for affordable reusables if you need them.
Start by checking to see which is your biggest waste culprit, target that one, and make a big impact at home today!