Ever considered just how much rubbish is produced every lunchtime in school playgrounds across the country? Yoghurt containers, chip wrappers, plastic sandwich bags and juice boxes are all destined for the rubbish bins; ending up as landfill or possibly in nearby waterways endangering marine life. This year, send the kids back to school with a litterless lunch and an eco-clear conscious.
Less haste, less waste
According to Pei-Shan Wu, founder of eco-friendly products website Ash n Juls, we produce unsustainable levels of waste each year. She says teaching kids how to reduce waste at lunchtime is an excellent way to show how they can immediately minimise their environmental impact.
- The goal of packing a litterless lunch is having no waste to throw out when you’re finished eating.
- Anything that can’t be eaten should be brought home to be washed and reused.
- With all the great products available today, reducing lunchtime waste couldn’t be easier.
How to pack a litterless lunch
Pei-Shan shares five practical tips to packing a litterless lunch:
- Reusable food containers: savvy parents should ditch paper and plastic bags and pack kids lunches in reusable, eco-friendly containers such as food-grade stainless steel lunch containers that can be used throughout the school year.
- Refillable drink bottles: refillable stainless steel drink bottles encourage kids to enjoy tap water right throughout the day. Being BPA free, they are a safe substitute to plastic bottles which are a major contributor to landfill.
- Buy in bulk and save: cut back on packaging avoiding individually wrapped snacks such as yoghurt, dried fruit, chips and juices. Buy larger sizes and portion out into reusable containers, saving both resources and money.
- Shop and cook with kids: involve children in preparing meals for a fun family activity. Kids are more likely to enjoy eating their own creations and less likely to throw away food knowing the work that went into it.
- Buy fresh: eliminate quick fix pre-packaged lunches so that only compostable scraps like apple cores and banana peels remain after eating. Not only is it healthier for the whole family, it supports New Zealand farmers.