It’s wonderful that Calgary has a blue-cart recycling program, but let’s not forget that reducing waste is still the most important of the three Rs. Applying some common sense and imagination to the lunches we pack for ourselves and our children is one of the best ways we can cut back on home, school, and workplace throwaway trash. Considering that a “normal” child’s lunch generates about 30 kilograms of waste during the school year, there’s lots of room for improvement.
Start by banishing the brown paper bag and its spendthrift accomplices — plastic wrap, aluminum foil, plastic baggies, and paper napkins. The same goes for the single-serving juice boxes and individual yoghurts. Instead stock up on bulk items that can be divided into reusable single-serving containers. (According to a study from the University of Florida, per ounce, single-servings are up to 50 percent more expensive and can generate twice as much waste as products packaged in bulk.) Add a classy flourish with cloth napkins, reusable cutlery, a stainless steel water bottle, and a Thermos flask for those chilly days.
The money you save can be put towards some healthy lunch treats such as some delicious Okanagan organic apples or some organic dark chocolate. And check out your local health food store for the Kids Konserve line of mix-and-match sustainable lunch kits and the stainless steel filtered water bottles.
Think like a frugal grandmother and enjoy a waste-free lunch that keeps your blue-cart lean and your family well-fed!
*This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of you health care practitioner. For any health related concerns, please consult your health care practitioner. Community Natural Foods and all of its associates shall not be held accountable for how this information is perceived or utilized.
by Margaret Chandler, freelance writer for Community Natural Foods