It’s our goal for 2019 to reduce the amount of plastic and general waste that ends up in landfill. And one of the best places to start is in the kitchen, where most of this country’s waste is generated.
In good news, we can all give each other a pat on the back – our household waste recycling efforts have paid off. We’ve increased from recycling 15% of household waste only 10-15 years ago, to recycling 95% of our waste these days. Champions.
However, according to The Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average Australian creates more than 2,000kgs of waste every year and each household spends about $1,200 on items purchased that never end up being used! And apparently, it’s young families who are the highest wasters, and the elderly who waste the least. Perhaps this says something about older generations’ experience of living through war and the Depression, and the fact that they’ve been forced to be economical and efficient in years outside our current era of over-consumption.
So let’s head back to the kitchen, where the packing of lunches can create unnecessary waste as quickly as you can say the word “gladwrap”. Whether you’re packing kids’ lunch boxes or adults’ food, earth-friendly packaging starts with how you wrap the individual components and moves right through to their transportation method and cutlery options.
Stasher's cool silicone bags make excellent reusable storage options, especially given there are three different sizes to choose from: large (salad), sandwich (ham and cheese sanga, anyone?) and snacks (strawberries). This patented design is an eco-friendly, environmentally safe and long-lasting alternative to plastic. Instead of petroleum-based plastics, these bags are made from platinum silicone that’s BPA, BPS, lead, latex and phthalate free. They feature an airtight seal that locks in nutrients and flavour. The Stasher bags can also be used in the microwave, sous vide machines, ovens and the freezer, plus they’re dishwasher safe.
Snacks can be the hardest item to package up in an environmentally and preserving way. Say hello to 4myearth's vegan-friendly cotton Food Pocket that can be used to pack small items such as a muffin or fruit, and it comes with a label to write your child’s name, date or even what’s inside the bag! It also makes a great storage solution to keep small amounts of vegies or fruit fresh in your fridge, it stores flat and is free from PVC, BPA, nylon, heavy metal and phthalates. Its food-derived inner coating helps keep food fresher for longer and it’s biodegradable at the end of its long life, so it’s good for your food, your wallet and the environment. Everybody (and planet) wins.
One of the most popular products at The Well Store is the Bee Green Wraps, produced by a wonderful Australian eco-friendly company. Made from 100% cotton and infused with a blend of Australian beeswax, tree resin and organic jojoba oil for durability and antibacterial protection, these wraps can be used interchangeably with plastic food wrap. The benefits? So many. Apart from saving the environment from another nasty piece of single-use plastic, these cotton beeswax (and vegan!) food wraps mould to the shape of the food through the warmth of your hands, creating a seal, which keeps the food fresher for longer. After use, wash the wraps in cold water with mild detergent. Repeat.
Getting food to its destination in one piece is part of the lunch-packing battle, right? That’s why we love good old solid lunchboxes crafted in stainless steel. The Well Store stocks several brands: the Ever Eco Bento Boxes, Cheeki Boxes and Stackers, and the Bare & Co Stainless Steel Bento Box. Each box comes in different sizes and shapes, with compartments to transport environmentally friendly wrapped food parcels to their destination. Great for adults and kids alike.
Hands up who’s sending pasta and salad to school for their kids’ lunches? These cutlery sets are made for your family. Avoid sticky hands and keep the landfill free of single-use plastic cutlery with this Bare & Co Reusable Bamboo Cutlery Set with Bonus Travel Pouch. The best part about this affordable set, including a fork, knife and spoon, is that it comes with a neat little pouch for kids (or forgetful adults) to place the pieces back into after use and bring them home for hand washing to be used all over again.
So now there’s no excuse not to go waste-free with your packed lunches. Head to The Well Store to find more inspired earth-friendly products that make staying eco-friendly a piece of cake.
Shop eco home here: