Making lunch more sustainable
It’s back-to-school time which often means new uniforms, shoes and more all of which have an impact on the environment and your pocket.
This week we focus on packed lunches and as ever, there’s a saving to help you take your next sustainable step.
Preparing lunch for work or school can seem time-consuming during a busy week of balancing the demands of everyday life, work, and family.
Choosing a ready-made or school meal is generally regarded as the most convenient option.
However, allocating time to prepare a packed lunch for school or work has a lot of environmental, health, and cost advantages that should make it your go-to option for your lunchtime break.
As ready-made lunches continue to be popular, the amount of single-use plastic packaging in circulation continues to harm the environment.
In a deep dive into the issue, WRAP (The Waste and Resources Action Programme) discovered that plastic packaging accounts for nearly 70% of our plastic waste.
This has led to the need for the UK Plastics Pact to be launched, which aims to make 100% of plastic packaging recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2025.
Better for people and planet
Using your own reusable food storage items, such as lunch boxes, reusable food bags, and eco-friendly cutlery will help you significantly reduce the amount of plastic you purchase and discard.
Make sure to choose a sustainable food storage choice – don’t worry we have done some research for you. More of that later.
A homemade lunch also helps to reduce your carbon footprint and the food miles required to get those ready-made lunch items into local stores.
Making your own pack lunch is a great way to support local butchers and greengrocers who work with local farmers.
Better for your health
Next time you are shopping for your usual ready-made lunch items, you should have a look at the nutritional traffic lights on the pack and also the full nutritional breakdown on the back.
You might be surprised at how much sugar and fat it contains.
By packing your own lunch you have much more control over what you eat each day and it allows you to eat in a much healthier way.
This is especially important for children who need a well-balanced diet to maintain growth, and brain and bone health.
A good diet also helps with concentration and sleep and often school meals fail to meet these needs.
You can make lunch planning enjoyable by considering the health benefits of food items as well as the nutritional benefits they will provide your body.
By getting other family members or work colleagues involved in the planning you can educate and create good long-term eating habits too!
Why not have a plastic-free lunch day?
It saves you money!
Packing lunches is also much more cost-effective than ready-made meals – often you can make a week’s worth of lunches for the cost of one or two shop-bought meals.
If you add coffee into the equation, you could be spending around £7 a day or £1680 a year on lunch.
It’s possible to make a healthy packed lunch for around £2.50 (or less) a day meaning you could save £1080 per year by bringing in your own lunch and coffee!
With the cost of living growing ever higher, this is a great move for your planet, your health and your pocket!
Not all lunchboxes are equal
There are plenty of choices on how to transport your packed lunch, but only a lunch box will keep the food from squishing in your bag or being destroyed in your child’s schoolbag/football.
Lunchboxes are generally made from metal or plastic, both of which come with significant environmental impacts, both in manufacturing and recycling.
Even worse, many lunchboxes are made of mass-produced nonrecyclable plastic, shipped in from around the world.
These can take centuries to degrade and when they eventually break down they end up as microplastics and enter the ecosystem!
Fear not – there is a brilliant and innovative lunch box that is rugged, safe and environmentally friendly!
The lunch box is none other than the Chowie Lunchbox made by the awesome Shlurple Straws.
Shlurple was born out of a love of the sea and aims to help reduce the huge amount of disposable plastic used in the UK every year, much of which ends up on our beaches and in our seas.
They also love turtles.
Shlurple products are all zero waste, sustainably sourced and biodegradable, meaning these reusable, sustainably made products can help lower your footprint.
The Chowie lunchbox is available in several colours, is made from a wheat composite and comes complete with a fork and spoon neatly stored within its lid!
It’s microwave/freezer safe and vacuum sealed, so, spillage won’t be an issue and your kid’s school books won’t come home coated in lunch.
If you want to take a sustainable step and try out a Chowie lunch box you can buy one here and if you use code TURTLEDAY33 you can save 15% off your order!