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NO WASTE LUNCH
A GREEN, HEALTHY
AND MONEY-SAVING ALTERNATIVE

Packing a No Waste Lunch is healthy eco-friendly and more economical than buying prepackaged food. The average disposable “brown bag” lunch creates between 4–8 ounces of garbage everyday. That can add up to as much as 100 pounds per year! Not only do prepackaged and processed foods contain excess packaging, they are also up to 25% more expensive. And with the alarming increase of childhood obesity and diabetes, it’s more important than ever to teach healthy eating habits, especially when bringing your own lunch can save you money too.

A No Waste Lunch differs from the conventional brown bag by eliminating disposable paper and packaging. Everything is packed in reusable containers, disposable paper is replaced with cloth, and disposable cutlery is replaced with reusables.

As landfills across North America reach capacity, more and more schools are working to educate students on the importance of the other 3Rs: reduce, reuse recycle. And many are beginning to adopt No Waste Lunch programs, since lunch refuse is one of the leading sources of trash generated by schools.

The reduction of waste translates to savings in cleanup costs and a reduction in CO2 emissions. In California, the California Waste Free School (WFS) program has helped local schools to succeed in diverting over 6928.4 tons of material from local landfills, saving participating school districts approximately $413,518 to date.

The basic steps to waste reduction as outlined by WFS are simply translated:

• Reduce the amount of disposable waste you pack

• Pack Reusable products

• Recycle anything you have left over

As families begin back to school preparations, now is the perfect time to incorporate No Waste lunch ideas to make a positive difference for your health, the planet and your wallet.

Easy Tips for a No Waste Lunch

• Replace your disposable lunch bag with a reusable lunch tote. When half of the stuff we throw away each day comes from food waste and packaging, you’ll make a difference for your health and your wallet by switching to reusables.

• Bring your drink in a BPA-free reusable bottle. It not only reduces waste, it promotes good health since you’re assured no toxins will leach into your drink. With an average savings of $200 per year over disposable water bottle costs, reusable bottles are a safe and sensible solution.

• Eliminate disposable foils, plastics and bags by replacing them with reusable containers and sandwich wraps. Available in a variety of materials, reusable containers come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit most any size lunch tote. Buying food in bulk is a great way to reduce packaging in general, and often saves money too.

• Choose reusable cutlery as an alternative to disposable plastic, or bring your stainless steel cutlery from home. Reusable cutlery is available in a variety of sustainable materials. Stainless steel travels well when wrapped in a cloth napkin, just rewrap after use for easy cleanup at home.

• Cloth Napkins are a money-saving, tree-free alternative to paper. You can green your kitchen and save an average of $40 per year by eliminating disposable plastics from your shopping list.

• Insulated Thermos-type food and beverage containers keep foods and beverages at the right temperature, so the soup you made over the weekend will stay warm enough for lunch. You may also be surprised at the number of leftover meals that will suddenly become lunch options with the right travel containers.

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