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Do you ever cringe at the amount of glad wrap you use while making school lunches? Would it make it worse if I told you that a school of 500 kids produces 15 tonnes of rubbish each year from lunch boxes alone?
Don’t worry, I’m not here to make you feel bad. In fact, with any luck, this post will make you feel a whole lot better because today I’ve got an easy solution to the problem of lunchbox waste, as well as a suggestion for making lunchboxes just that bit more fun and exciting for your little ones.
Reduce plastics and feeling great
Last year I vowed to reduce the use of plastics in my household, and since that post, I think I’ve done a pretty good job of achieving my aim. Cutting the plastics from school lunches was the first thing to change. I no longer use disposable plastics like glad wrap and plastic sandwich pockets anymore. But what do I use instead? I hear you ask.
Kylie Etheridge, a qualified primary school teacher and now the founder of Litter Free Living, was fed up with seeing the amount of rubbish being brought to schools in lunch boxes. What I find glorious about her is that she didn’t just adopt litter free living with her family but she also created products that help others become litter free too.
The products have all been designed to help replace disposable items that end up in landfill. That’s a pretty great goal to have because ‘the average Australian family of four people makes enough rubbish in one year to completely fill a three-bedroom house from floor to ceiling’ (Transpacific.com, May 5, 2015). She’s even kept our families’ health in the forefront of their creation and made them out of materials that are PVC-free, phthalate, BPA free and non-toxic! So, you can see why I was excited when I found her and her products.
Reuseable Sandwich Set
The reusable sandwich sets are my favourite. I just shove the sandwich, sunflower seeds, air-popped popcorn (whatever I can think of) in the pretty material bags, put them in the lunch box and off we go. The sizings are perfect for a lunch box too, which means I don’t have to worry about finding a container that won’t fit. They take up hardly any space and if the sandwich is smaller than the bag, I just flip it underneath with no hassle.
I don’t wash them as much I thought I’d need to either. The water-resistant inner lining keeps the food fresh and if it needs it, I just give it a little wipe down with a damp cloth. When it’s time for a clean, I just throw it in the washing machine along with all the other clothes.
She also has bags that you can use to store leftover fresh foods in. Keeping my food fresh in the fridge without the use of plastics is so much easier now. If I have a half cut capsicum or avocado, I just add it to one of Kate’s bag. I’ve been searching all over for a way to keep my cheese fresh without the use of a plastic bag to cover it. I squealed when I got this. It works so well, I love it!
Thanks to Litter Free Living I’m spending less time packaging lunches with plastics and spending more time adding fun to my children’s lunch boxes. A while ago I added Animal Quizzes to my eldest’s lunch box and she just loved the little notes she received each day.
This time I’m adding a nature scavenger hunt. So, every day for a fortnight, my children will have to bring me back one thing they’ve found in nature. It’s a perfect way to get my children appreciating nature every day, and in different locations other than our house and on our bush walks.
In keeping with the rubbish-reducing theme, I wrote the scavenger hunt notes on pieces of an old cereal box.
Lunchbox Scavenger Hunt
Here are 14 Scavenger Hunt notes you can add to your child’s lunch box:
- Find a leaf bigger than your hand
- Find a small interesting rock
- Draw an animal you see on this piece of paper
- Find something round in nature
- Make a rubbing of a tree trunk in your school
- Find a stick shorter than your pinkie finger
- Find something in nature that matches this colour
- Put a leaf in your hair and wear it home
- Find a bird feather
- Find something rough in nature
- Help nature by picking up some rubbish and placing it in the bin
- Find something pointy in nature
- Find a Y shaped Stick
- Bring a flower home for me