Another year, another resolution– although, maybe this time your resolution isn’t about yourself? Maybe you’ve pledged to jump on the environmentally sustainable bandwagon and if so, you’re definitely not alone. In 2018, sustainability was on the rise, keep cups became customary at local cafes and we said thank you, next to plastic bags.
So what does 2019 have install for us eco-conscious folk? The answer– simple swaps. Did you know plastic can take up to 450 years to biodegrade? Yup, we’ll just let you reflect on that as we round up 6 environmentally-friendly ways to pack your lunch to work, with not a plastic container in sight.
1. Beeswax Wraps
Move over plastic, snap lock bags, these are the bees knees. Literally. Ditch your single-use habit, and opt for beeswax wraps to package your snacks to work. But what exactly are they, you ask? Beeswax wraps are made from cotton, food-grade beeswax and jojoba or coconut oil. Its wax-proof coating makes it malleable, waterproof and breathable. They’re also very easy to keep clean– wash them in cold soapy water and dry them on a dish rack.
2. Stainless Steel Straws
If you’re a smoothie on the go kinda gal, you’ll know that smoothie moustaches are the worst (we’ve all been there). Instead of choosing a plastic straw, purchase a metal straw instead. They’re reusable, recyclable and BPA free. BPAis a chemical found in certain plastics, which, if exposure to high amounts, has shown to have serious health effects on the brain, behaviour and can affect the prostate gland in children and infants. *immediately runs to kitchen and disposes all plastic
3. Environmentally Friendly Lunch Box
After a non-toxic lunchbox? Glass and steel are the best alternatives to plastic containers. Both have pros and cons. Steel containers are lightweight, and great from a portability perspective, although the downside is they’re not microwavable. Glass containers are the heavier option, but they are microwavable and they’re great for our meal preppers, as you’re able to identify what meal you’re taking from the fridge!
4. Bamboo Utensils
Ahh the feeling of bringing your pre-packed lunch to work– if that isn’t the meaning of #adulting, we don’t know what is. The words responsible, smart, and amazing human being run through your mind, that is, until you realise you’ve forgotten your cutlery. We feel you. Why not keep a set of bamboo cutlery in your bag? It’s biodegradable and disposable. All you need to do is hand wash after use and oila, that amazing human being-ness is reaffirmed. We got you.
5. Keep Cup
The guilt of carrying a take-away coffee cup is real. It literally feels like you’re doing Cersei’s walk of shame in Game Of Thrones, whilst the public cry ‘Shame!’ and ring ring a bell to attract people’s attention. And tbh, we don’t blame them, because, did you know that coffee cups take up to 30 years to decompose. We’ll forgive you for 2018, but it’s 2019 guys, and we really need to get our sh*t together this year.
6. Keep Your Food Scraps
Yes, you read correctly. By eliminating global food waste, we would save 4.4 million tonnes of CO2 a year, the equivalent of taking one in four cars off the road. So instead of throwing away that banana that’s been sitting on your office desk for three days, transport it back home and give your worm farm a good feed. Pro tip: Keep your scraps in the container in the fridge and when it’s full, blend your scraps together in a blender. This enables a more effective break down of food, and speeds up the compost process!
What you can put into your compost:
- Fruit and vegetable scraps
- Coffee grounds
- Avocado seeds (chopped up, to avoid sprouting)
- Tea bags (if the tea bag contains non-organic material only compost the leaves)
- Egg shells
- Loose leaf tea
- Herbs and spices
- Stale seeds (make sure to chop them up to avoid sprouting)
- Old jelly, jam or preserves
- Used paper napkins and paper towels
- Pencil shavings
- Paper or cardboard (shredded)
- Post it notes
- Envelopes (minus the plastic window)
- Pencil shavings
What you can’t:
- Walnuts – they contain a chemical called juglone which is toxic to some plants
- Dairy products
- Cooking oils
- Diseased plants
- Cat litter
- Meat or bones