Packing a Greener Lunch

April 2019 is the 49th anniversary of Earth Month. Being eco-friendly is more important now than ever: we are nearing the tipping point of climate change, and it’s not too late to save our oceans and wildlife from disposable plastic.

In honor of this important cause, I am putting together some eco-friendly posts this month. Since most of us eat lunch every single day, I thought thought this topic would be a great place to start!

Bringing a lunch from home is a great way to save money and eat healthier. Unlike the brown paper bags of the past, packing lunch today doesn’t have to be boring. The products below are colorful yet practical ways to limit the use of disposable plastics and other single-use products.

1. Stainless Steel Tumbler by Thermos. I have this tumbler in gray and black, but now that I’ve seen this adorable robin’s egg blue, I think I need to order one in that color, too! This has been my favorite mug for going on five years now. It’s durable, easy to clean, and keeps your coffee or tea hot for hours. Bringing your own coffee mug is a great way to save hundreds of disposable cups from ending up in a landfill.

2. Shimmer Collection Bags by Stasher. These adorable, reusable silicone bags are such a wonderful idea. They’re safe for the fridge, the microwave, the dishwasher, and even the oven. They’re made out of nontoxic silicone and, unlike plastic baggies, they’re designed to be used over and over. Stasher baggies come in a variety of sizes and can hold anything from fresh fruit to cookies to veggies to art supplies. Check out their Instagram account @stasherbag for some colorful lunch inspo.

3. Bamboo fork and spoon. A spoon and fork are important parts of my lunch, but somehow I always forget to pack them! Keeping a reusable set in your lunch bag is an easy way to be prepared when you’re on the go. Preparation is important when traveling and bringing your own utensils can limit your need for plastic silverware. I really like this set available from REI, and it’s only $10.00.

4. Pioneer Woman Fiona Cloth Napkins. Instead of bringing paper towels or napkins in your lunchbox, try a reusable cloth napkin instead. I especially love this colorful set from The Pioneer Woman line. These napkins are lightweight but absorbent, and I adore the bright, summery patterns.

5. Pyrex Glass Food Storage Set. I’ve had my Pyrex set for a while and I’m so glad I made the switch from plastic containers to glassware. Although the lids on this set are made of plastic, they are overall pretty durable and last a long time. It’s a good idea to use glass for food storage: plastic takes forever to decompose in a landfill, and it can also leach harmful chemicals into your food, especially when heated in the microwave. Glass is a safer alternative that’s easy to clean, easy to recycle, and extremely durable. I use my Pyrex dishes every single day.

Making the switch from disposable to reusable can seem intimidating at first, but it’s really not hard once when have the right products. Small switches add up to big savings, and the planet and your wallet will thank you.

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