As August approaches, it's back to work and back to school, slowly but surely!
Whether we like it or not, the vacations are coming to an end, and the routine will begin. With this routine, it's time to question some of our daily habits in order to make more ecological choices that can be easily integrated. And with this routine comes lunches... the famous lunches... Well, we've got to eat, and the lunchbox is perfect for questioning our consumption habits. After all, the lunchbox can be an environmental burden! We've met a lot of teachers and they all agree: lunchboxes are awfully full of single-use items.
So here are a few tips and tricks to help you move towards an eco-friendly lunchbox.
As you'll see, there's nothing rocket science about it. The tips themselves are relatively easy to put in place, so what may be a challenge for some will be a matter of organization!
To have an eco-friendly lunchbox, you have to be prepared to cook at least a little! That way, we can avoid meals on the go, which are often over-packaged, and therefore bad for the environment, our wallets and our health!
And cooking requires a minimum of organization, if only to have the ingredients on hand and the time to do it! For the rest, here's how you can adapt.
Caution! Don't throw out the containers you already have to replace them... You have to use them to the end of their useful life, otherwise the new containers will be part of the over-consumption because they're not necessary! Most of us already have plastic containers. When the time comes to replace them, you can start by looking in your cupboard or recycling bin for Mason jars that can be used for liquids such as soup or applesauce. If you need to buy new containers, it's best to buy glass ones for their durability. They'll also be much better for your health if you have to heat up your meal. Plastics put in the microwave, even if the packaging says it's okay, even if it's PBA-free, don't inspire us and are certainly a health risk (toxic release).Napkins
The need for napkins is rare. Most of the time, we have access to a water source to wash our hands.
However, if this is part of your routine and you insist on having some, you can simply slip a piece of cloth (cut from an old t-shirt, for example) into your lunch box. That way, you avoid a one-off use, and just throw it in the wash. And if it's in your child's lunchbox and he misplaces it, no worries!
Plastic utensils are not only mostly non-recyclable, they're also really unpleasant to eat with and so very, very useless. So it's a case of slipping the necessary utensils into your lunch box and having your little kit in your satchel or work bag at all times. In this case, you have the choice of using the ones you already have at home, buying a set with a pouch, or buying multifunctional ones.
Take a look at the story of the plastic spoon. It'll convince you all by itself!
Do we really need to discuss single-serving, single-use beverages here? If there's one thing we can easily avoid, it's this!
We're talking about having a glass, plastic or stainless steel container, taking 15 seconds to fill it and 30 seconds on the clock to wash it. Don't we have 45 seconds in the day to avoid so much waste? You can even use a 250 ml Mason jar, which fits neatly into a lunch box.
For hot beverages, we can carry a reusable cup with us and use the refill now available in many cafés. Some even offer a small discount!Snacks
We live in a paradise of individual portions. And single-serving means over-packaging. And single-serving means lots of single-use, disposable materials. This means lots of non-recyclable waste and lots of pollution. Can we fill small pots with yoghurt, compote and hummus? Can we still cut our own cheese? I think so... think again!
Here's a video to inspire you: Sandwich bags
We finish here with the crème de la crème. The famous "Ziploc" style bags are literally an aberration of this century. Designed for a single use, they're a no-go. You can put your sandwiches and snacks in much more durable items such as plastic dishes, ideally made of glass.
However, since glass is heavy, you can also use pretty, lightweight, waterproof bags that can be reused over and over again! All in all, it's a worthwhile investment from both an ecological and economic point of view!
Having an eco-friendly lunchbox isn't witchcraft. It requires a bit of effort and perhaps a small investment that everyone can afford.
When we say investment, we mean that it pays off in the long run. You'll benefit from not buying individual portions, for example.
Then, once you've acquired these little habits, you can look at what you're putting into them in terms of food quality and diversity, and encourage the integration of a local and organic eating habit if you haven't already!