Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Day 9: Reusable Lunch Items

Before I start, just a little reminder that next Tuesday is the first linky party where you can link up your projects made from recycled materials! So start saving your projects and come link up! Also, if you'd like to co-host this party with me, let me know, cuz I'd love to get as many people involved as possible! :)

I think a lot of the stuff we throw out but might not really need to is related to food. Especially for food on the go. Snack bags, prepacked snacks, sandwich bags, juice boxes, etc, all oh so convenient, but make so much waste, especially when you you use them 5 days a week, or more.



I think it's time we reinvent lunches, make them a little less pre-packaged and a little more homemade. What? I haven't convinced you? Let me state my case, then.

Here is an example I came across this weekend. It was on a post from Allison of House of Hepworth's about Organizing her kids' lunches. Do you see what I see?


Everything is prepackaged! Except 1 of the 2 sandwiches which is in its own reusable container. Snacks, juice bags, water bottle, 1 of 2 sandwhiches in a disposable baggy (I was wondering why she didn't just get a second reusable container), individual portions of carrots and dips. It just doesn't end!

Now, I think it's really great that she does pack lunches and they are full of healthy stuff and not complete junk. BUT, this is the 31 Days to Greener Sustainable Living, and this just made my heart break a little. All that waste, it's so unnecessary!

So, have I convinced you now? Or still not sure how exactly to do it? Cuz I'm here to help!!

Also, let's ditch those plastic baggies! After I'm done the boxes I have now, I'm not buying new ones. If you don't have them, you'll find an alternative. Who's with me?!

If you do want to keep a few, just reuse the ones you have now. I know they are a pain to wash, really, I do, I wash every single last one that comes back home. And that's the problem! Not the washing, the getting back home to me part; that's why I can't trust plastic baggies anymore.

I found this useful trick for drying baggies from Whole Living. I need to get me one of these!!


So here are a few alternatives to ziplock baggies.

Reusable snack containers

Jen at iHeart Organizing wrote about implementing snack containers in her routine, instead of baggies, and I had a little head desk moment when I saw it.


They might take up a bit more space, but are way easier to wash than baggies.

I already got myself a couple from the dollar store for 75cents each. We're not super big on snacks, so we don't need a ton, but I do like to pack some cut veggies for our lunches, like carrots, cucumbers, and peppers, and they fit nicely in these containers, as long as I'm careful to cut them the right size, though!



Or if you want to reuse what you may already have, I love cream cheese containers for snacks! I've got 2 sizes and they are perfect for bringing granola, fruits, and even yogourt! Yup, they are leak-proof, which is great for yogourt. This way you can buy the bigger tubs and aliquot however much you like.



Reusable dip and sauce containers

Just like Allison's kids, we like dip with our veggies. But here's an alternative to the individually packaged dips she uses. Just pour your own favorite dip in small reusable containers. My mom gave me some really good Tupperware ones for Christmas a couple of years ago. They are great for sauces! I just wish I had more, cuz I already lost one :( (only had 4 to begin with) And bonus, they are orange! lol (orange is my favorite color...)



But back to snacks. I've seen and pinned quite a few tutorials for making your own reusable baggies in the last few months.

Reusable Snack and Sandwich Bags

Water proof Snack Bags from Destination:Craft Reusable Sandwich Bags from The Gilded Hare Reusable Lined Snack Baggie from Happy Hour Projeects

Or if you're not the type to make it, here are a few cute ones I found on Amazon:

LunchSkins 3 pack 25$ Bumkins Reusable Snack Bags, 2 pack 7$ (Sandwich 5$ each) ChicoBag rePET Baggies, 3 pack 16$

You may also want to skip the baggy idea and go for some lunch boxes/containers that have compartments, a la bento box:

Bento LunchBox Containers, 4 for 14$ Stay-Fit Lunch 2 Go Container, 10.24$ each Bento Box 2 Tier, 14.62 each

For older kids, or for yourself or your spouse, it seems like a lot of the time we bring leftovers to school or work, and not so much sandwiches. In those cases, it's a good idea to use glass containers, as they don't leech any chemicals into your food. These are the ones we use:


They are GlassLock, but I can't find the exact same set anywhere. I really like them. I have even dropped them (not from too high) and they didn't shatter, I can remove the plastic seal to wash it when I need to.

But sometimes, we may still opt for cafeteria food. If this is a common occurence, may I suggest keeping your own plate at work, and bringing it to the cafeteria so they can give you food on that instead of the styrofoam containers.

Oh, one last thing. We usually need utensils to eat with, right? Opt for these cute reusable and compact choices instead of disposable plastic utensils. Or you can also just wash the plastic ones :)


Light MY Fire Spork 4 pack 8.15$

Wenzel Chow Utensil Kit 5$ (seen them at dollar store for 2$)

Did I give you enough choices? If not, you can always do a google search, or amazon search, or pinterest search. I saw a lot of great other options, but I only have so much space.

Do you use reusable baggies or containers for your lunches? What are your favorites?!

PS None of these links are affiliates








I party at these parties.

7 comments:

  1. This has been a fun series to read!! I'm excited to keep learning more!

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  2. Yeah!!! I have always been a big reuse kind of a girl. Not only for the sake of being green but because I am so cheap :). I feel like I just aced a test after reading this post!

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  3. Good info!

    Hey, I have a weekend link party I'd love for you to join if you'd like:

    http://westernwarmth.blogspot.com/2012/10/weekend-warmth-6.html

    Thanks, Bobi

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lock and Locks rock. We've been using the same containers for going on six years now. The kids pack pretty much daily and these never leak and they can easily open them (yay!) They're similar to your glass containers but in plastic and they come in good lunch sizes. We found tiny screw top containers for the dips (bento mayonnaise holders)

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  5. hi. just dropped by to appreciate your efforts on sharing such informative blog posts. will be looking for more updates .

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  6. I pack my sons lunches every day and have been researching reusable sandwich bags. I want to buy them, but the ones I have looked at are kind of expensive, and the DIY tutorials I have seen have you use vinyl. I would like to know if you know or have hear of an alternative to vinyl that is inexpensive. I want to make sure the bags are lead and BPA free. I would use plastic containers but I am not fond of using them due to toxins. Any suggestions you may have are greatly appreciated. I love your blog!

    ReplyDelete

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