Follow This Checklist To Create Sustainable Lunches

Become an instant eco-warrior with this guide to making literless lunches.

For beginners make it a goal with your family to have a liter-less lunch for a week. The term litter-less lunch is nothing new, school boards have been promoting this for years, and all it means is that there is no waste created from your lunch. The average student lunch generates 67lbs of waste per school year. There are a lot of single-serving packages that came on the market to help busy parents create lunches, where you throw in a pack of crackers, or cookies, which are great in a pinch, but we don’t want to be relying on them in the long-term.

Did you know?

  • Lunchtime trash is second only to office paper as the leading source of school waste
  • Each Canadian throws away approximately ½ kilogram of packaging daily

The beginner’s checklist:

  1. Reusable lunch bag: We want to make sure we’ve got a reusable lunch bag, so no more brown paper bags or single-use plastic bags
  2. Reusable containers: We need to make sure we’re packing lunch in reusable stainless steel or glass containers and reusable snack bags, hopefully, plastic-free. But if you’ve got your Tupperware, don’t throw it all away and buy new, use it until you need to replace it—and when that time comes opt for more sustainable multi-use items.
  3. Reusable bottles and utensils: We are no longer using single-use juice boxes or water bottles, it’s time to bring a reusable bottle with water or your favourite drink. Forget about the plastic utensils. Thrifting silverware is a great option and keep them in a jar so you can just toss what you need into your lunch.
  4. Cloth napkins: No paper napkins a little wet nap is great if you packed something sticky. Just wet your napkin a little, throw it into one of these bags, or a container.
  5. Pack healthy snacks: You don’t want hyper-processed or packaged foods, these typically have a bigger carbon footprint. Cut up your vegetable, pack your vegetables at the beginning of the week. Five containers of cut veggies, so in the morning you’re just grabbing a container and popping it into a lunch bag. If your kids love berries, do the same with berries!

The intermediate checklist:

  1. Buy bulk items: Not only does it save you money, but you’re also creating less waste- and a lot of bulk stores now let you bring your containers!
  2. Buy local produce and baked goods: Doing this is another way to reduce waste and your carbon footprint. Swapping in plant-based meals during the week is something our intermediate eco-warriors should consider.
  3. Eat off or with sustainable or recycled products: Bamboo is a great sustainable resource. You can pick up your very own bamboo utensils at Lemon Berry. These utensils are reusable, washable and biodegradable, and the packaging it came in is made from recycled pop bottles.

How to pack your zero-waste lunchbox:

  1. First, lay out a nice cloth napkin to pack your lunch in. Wrap your in an easy to find microfiber cloth
  2. Add your mason jar salad
  3. Place your reusable water bottle and add your snacks, and then fold the napkin over like so and tie a knot
  4. Repeat on the other side, and then feed one knot through the other to snap it closed and create a little handle