Pack smart to reduce waste.
by Jeana Malcolm
So you're making your own lunches with sustainable, local ingredients. Why pack those lunches in brown paper bags with plastic sandwich bags, disposable napkins and plastic utensils? There are a lot of different options for lunch packing that are reusable, fun and stylish.
Bento boxes are the standard for toting your lunch in Japan, and are becoming very popular in the Western world, as well. They come in many shapes, sizes, colors and materials to suit your individual needs and preferences. Pack your whole lunch directly into your bento; you can buy smaller containers to fit inside for sauces or anything else you want to keep separate.
You can also purchase a type of bento system that comes with multiple containers that fit into a larger tote, popularized by Laptop Lunches. These are perfect for both kids and adults who prefer to keep each dish in its own space, and they come in many different configurations and designs.
Instead of relying on flimsy, single-use zip-top bags for your sandwiches and snacks, try a reusable cloth bag instead. These bags are available in many stylish designs and are machine washable. Many seal with Velcro-style hook-and-loop closures, while some seal with magnets or zippers. They are usually lined on the inside to prevent leaks.
Tired of spending money to throw out plastic utensils? Don't want to lug around your metal forks and spoons? Try bamboo! Bamboo utensils are sustainable and biodegradable, lightweight and easy to wash. They don't stain, and they don't absorb odors like other wooden utensils. They can even be organic!
Don't forget to top off your lunch with a sturdy cloth napkin! Try organic cotton, hemp or bamboo for a soft, sustainable napkin that you can throw in the wash with your sandwich bags and reusable grocery bags.
Check out these websites to fulfill all your lunch-ware needs!
Laptop Lunches http://www.laptoplunches.com
Bento & Co. http://en.bentoandco.com/
Kids Konserve http://kidskonserve.com/
To-Go Ware http://www.to-goware.com/
Lunch Skins http://www.lunchskins.com/
Snack Taxi http://www.snacktaxi.com/