Here are a few tips to making school lunches waste free:
- Buy a lunchbox with compartments. It not only reduces waste, it helps keep food fresher for longer. These are becoming more and more affordable. Some however, (such as the NudeFood pictured) are almost impossible to clean due to the grooves that hold removable dividers (these things are just crumb magnets and can only be cleaned with a toothbrush), so it pays to ask what others are using and examine the construction of the box for hidden surprises. There is an awesome review of lunchboxes over at Happy Mum Happy Child.
- Instead of cling film (Glad Wrap) use a beeswax wrap or paper. Zip-lock snack bags can be used again and again for items such as popcorn, fruit sticks, or chips.
- Homemade yogurt, muesli bars, muffins, and biscuits do not have packaging. Muffins or scrolls can be frozen and go straight from the freezer to the lunchbox – they’ll be thawed and fresh in time for lunch with the added bonus they will help keep the rest of the lunch cool – a bonus in summer! Check our our recipe section for cookies, scrolls, bliss balls and other lunch box ideas
- Consider buying in bulk (or bulkish) to reduce packaging. Those single serve chips and similar snacks create a huge amount of waste and cost a fortune! Items such as raisins, yogurt, chips can be purchased in larger quantities and put into lunchboxes. One of our favourites is Microwave Popcorn – one bag fills eight ziplock snack bags.
- Make sure your kids bring home anything that they do not eat. You will be able to see what they are/are not eating. Any left overs can be composted or fed to chickens. (We actually went through a period here when I would ask one picky eater each morning “What would the chickens like on your sandwiches today?”)
- When making dinners such as pizza – Make a little extra, it’s great in lunches the next day.