Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Trash-free Lunch Challenge. Are you in?

Whew!  That first week of school is now behind us.  The flurry of emotions, parking lot confusion, and school uniforms has found its new normal.  We all know what to expect each day, and we're up for it.  This year will be a good one.

I'm ready to take it to the next level.  Are you?

I'm talking about Trash-Free Lunches.

I've been addressing this on and off over the last few years, as I've been packing snacks and lunches for my two scholars.

And it's rubbing off.  The other day, after driving past an unnaturally large and stinky landfill, my first grader asked me, "Mommy, how can I make the garbage dumps smaller?"

Wow.  How would you answer this question?

After a pause, I could only come up with, "Well, we could quit making trash."

I'm not sure if our house is ready for the concentrated effort of the Zero Waste Home (who introduced me to my favorite alternative to recycling, which is refusing), but what we can commit to Zero Waste Lunches.

And it's not that hard.

I'm proud to announce that we ate trash-free lunches for the entire first week of school!  (Does it count that I forgot to recycle the Have-a-great-day-love-mom notes that I sent that first day?)

Wondering how to send a trash-free lunch?  Well, it starts by politely refusing the school lunch, which comes on a styrofoam tray and consists of packaged nuggets and other food-like substances.  You are the parent.  Send your child actual food.

Here's what my kids get:

1. dinner leftovers in a thermos or a sandwich in a reusable Sandwich Wrap

2. a piece of fruit or cut veggies in a reusable container
3. something snacky, like crackers and cheese, or a little tub of raisins/nuts/pretzels (in the ideal world, I would buy these in bulk and further reduce the trash component, but hey, it's a process, and I'm not quite there yet)

4. a cloth napkin
5. silverware (yes, they actually bring this home!)
6. a glass jar with water (the plastic water bottles never seem to get clean and the scent creeps me out, so we use glass jars with lids.  My first grader is having a tough time unscrewing hers, and is [hopefully] asking for help as a way to make friends.)

Who out there is willing to take the Trash-Free Lunch Challenge?
What other ideas do you have for trash-free lunches?

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm, I'm working on it, too, but I need about 20 more of your snack wraps. I am using some of the smallest mason jars with the plastic lids, not the ring/lid combo. I've found that the cloth napkin and silverware comes back, too. But I'm going to pick up some extra spoons at the thrift store soon, both for lunches and for one of the kids' teachers, who is starting to collect "real" stuff to replace the disposable.