Make 2024 Your Year of Waste Free Lunches
Jan 22, 2024
Australians throw away 1.9 million tonnes of packaging each year – enough to fill the MCG nine times! And that's one year's worth of throwaway packaging in landfills, creating as much greenhouse gas as 860,000 cars. And if you think your contribution isn't big enough to make a difference, it only takes three pieces of rubbish per day to stack up to 30kgs of waste per year. That's a lot of rubbish. Yet, we can all reduce our environmental impact by making a few simple changes. And one of those simple changes is choosing to go 'waste free' for your lunches in 2024.
What's a waste free lunch?
Being waste-free means using reusable containers and skipping single-use wherever possible. Take a reusable bottle from home instead of buying a water bottle when you're out. Or find a tap and fill it up when you're out and about. Take a reusable coffee cup when you go to your local cafe. No more single-use paper cups and plastic lids! And as a bonus, many cafes are starting to offer a discount if you bring your cup.
You can also make your eco lunchboxes at home and pop them into a reusable lunch bag to take to work or school. You can even extend the waste-free lunch concept to buying your lunch. Just take a reusable container and ask for the takeaway to be put into that instead of a throwaway one!
Why is it so good to go waste free?
We've all seen the overflowing landfills and plastic-choked oceans, leaving us with a sinking feeling about the future of our planet. But what if there was a way to make a positive impact that didn't involve drastic lifestyle changes or superhuman feats of eco-warriorism? Well, there is! It's called going waste-free, and it's not just good for the environment, it's good for you too.
Cashback, not trash back
Ditching single-use packaging means embracing the power of bulk buying and refillable containers. Imagine no more paying for tiny portions of plastic-wrapped everything! Say hello to cheaper groceries, less clutter, and a fridge full of delicious possibilities.
Fuel your body, not landfills
Processed foods often come wrapped in a mountain of packaging. By saying goodbye to single-use, you're saying hello to fresh, whole ingredients bursting with flavour and nutrition.
Cleaner Planet, Clearer Conscience
Less waste means less litter, less pollution, and a cleaner world. Imagine beaches free of plastic debris, oceans teeming with life, and communities breathing easy. Getting into waste free living isn't just about what you toss; it's about making a conscious choice for a cleaner future.
Trash the rubbish, not the future
Every bit of waste avoided means less rotting in landfills, releasing harmful methane into the atmosphere. By choosing reusable and compostable alternatives, you're actively fighting climate change and paving the way for a greener tomorrow.
Ideas For Waste Free Lunch Boxes
To live a greener lifestyle, consider using sustainable alternatives like reusable containers, utensils, drinkware, lunch bags and eco food wraps instead of disposables. This diminishes our reliance on single-use products and fosters a healthier planet.
Reusable containers stand out as eco-friendly champions for waste-free office or school lunches. Let's explore three types that can transform your lunch routine.
Lunch Boxes: Sustainable Alternatives
The traditional lunch box has transformed into a powerful ally against waste. By ditching single-use plastic containers, bags, and wraps, reusable lunch boxes offer both durability and eco-friendliness. Opt for a zero-waste lunch box like b.box lunchboxes made from stainless steel, safe plastics, and silicone. We also recommend Yumbox's eco-friendly bento box, Ever Eco's stainless steel bento box, and food containers.
Stainless Steel Food Jars: Green on-the-Go
Use stainless steel food jars for warm and fresh meals on the go. These eco-friendly lunch containers are made of high-quality 18/8 (304 grade) and 18/10 (316 grade) stainless steel, making them durable, resistant to corrosion, and non-reactive. We recommend the Fabelab Thermo Stainless Steel Food Jar and the b.box Insulated Food Jar for stylish and sustainable choices.
Glass Containers with Airtight Lids: Clarity in Sustainability
Glass food containers with airtight lids are great options for waste-free pre-packaged foods. They are durable for long-term use, recyclable, and do not release harmful chemicals into the food, ensuring environmental sustainability and safety. We recommend Wean Green's lunch cubes, tubs, and bowls as they embody all these qualities, making them ideal for those committed to a waste-free lunch routine.
Plastic cutlery may seem like a convenient option, but it has devastating effects on our environment. It's nice to imagine having a lunch break without single-use plastics, where every bite you take is guilt-free, and every meal contributes to a healthier planet. Sustainable utensils are the answer to this dream. These reusable options, often made of bamboo or stainless steel, are sturdy, long-lasting, and either biodegradable or recyclable, making them the ideal choice for environmentally conscious eaters.
We recommend White Magic's reusable cutlery set as your durable and stylish lunch buddy. We also love the Ever Eco Bamboo Cutlery Set With Chopsticks & Travel Pouch, which adds convenience for on-the-go sustainability. And for tiny hands, Re-Play Utensils make eco-eating a colourful celebration! Every bite is a win for the planet.
Plastic straws are a common source of beach litter and significantly threaten marine life worldwide. Because of this, Victoria's ban on single-use plastics, including straws, has sparked a surge in the adoption of reusable options.
Hello Charlie stands behind this movement and has your reusable straw buddy sorted. We recommend silicone straws from b.box, Re-Play and Little Mashies, stainless steel straws from Go Bamboo and Cheeki, and bamboo straws from Ever Eco.
Join the waste-free lunch box revolution by replacing disposable paper napkins with the timeless elegance of cloth alternatives. Upgrade your daily meals with the eco-friendly charm of cloth napkins, especially those made from organic, sustainable fabrics such as cotton or linen. These choices add a touch of sophistication and durability to your dining experience and contribute to a greener lifestyle.
Reusable Drink Containers
We must limit single-use plastic bottles and cups to reduce their negative environmental impact. Shockingly, around 53% of plastic bottles end up in landfills, and an additional 12% pollute the environment. This contributes to a massive 130,000 tonnes of plastic entering Australia's marine ecosystems yearly. Fortunately, there are eco-friendly alternatives available to address this pressing issue.
At Hello Charlie, you can find a wide range of trendy and sustainable drinkware options. Choose from Ever Eco's Insulated Stainless Steel Tumblers, b.box's Insulated Flip Top Drink Bottles, EcoVessel water bottles and Cheeki's insulated drink bottles for thirst-quenching moments. These reusable water bottles can keep your drinks at the right temperature and significantly reduce plastic waste.
If you're a coffee lover, rejoice! You can now swap disposable cups for sustainable alternatives like Ever Eco's Insulated Coffee Cups or Cheeki's Reusable Coffee Mugs. These reusable coffee cups can keep your coffee warm and support your commitment to a greener lifestyle.
Sustainable Food Wrapping
Say goodbye to mountains of plastic wraps and foils, and embrace sustainable food wraps that keep your meals fresh and your conscience clear. Hello Charlie recommends eco-friendly options like Biotuff Compostable Cling Wrap, Apiwraps Reusable Beeswax Wraps, and 4MyEarth Reusable Food Pocket. These choices provide practical solutions for wrapping your lunch and contribute to a greener, waste-free approach to your daily meals.
Utilising Lunch Bags Effectively
Forget flimsy plastic bags and mountains of single-use packaging. Insulated lunch bags are the unsung heroes of the waste-free lunch scene. They're like little green guardians, keeping your food at the right temperature while you conquer the day. Think crisp salads still bursting with freshness, sandwiches staying perfectly toasty, and yogurt maintaining its cool composure without a single plastic wrapper.
Of course, not all lunch bags are created equal. Opt for an eco-friendly lunch bag that's easy to clean and has durable materials that can withstand the daily grind. Hello Charlie recommends the b.box Insulated Lunch Bag – handy, spacious, practical, and kind to the planet.
Waste Free Lunch Tips: Lunch Planning for Zero Waste
Ditch the plastic wrap and pre-packaged food! Packing a delicious and eco-friendly lunch is easier than you think.
Meal Prep Magic
Whip up big batches of chilli, soups, or veggie stir-fry on the weekend. Portion them into reusable containers for the week, minimising packaging waste and maximising your time. And while you're at it, ditch the plastic bags for Onya's reusable bulk food bag – hello, zero-waste food storage!
Choose products with minimal or compostable packaging, local and sustainably sourced ingredients, and bring reusable grocery bags when shopping like Ever Eco's reusable shopping bag set or other similar bag options. This mindful approach helps reduces waste and supports the farmers and producers who care for our planet.
Responsible Cleaning and Disposal
Remember to separate your lunch scraps into the compost and recycling bins. Even banana peels can find new life as garden fertiliser! And when cleaning up, try to avoid using paper towels and conventional plastic kitchen sponges or dishcloth. Instead, grab the Ever Eco Zero Waste Kitchen Cleaning Tools Bundle. These cleaning tools are tough on dirt, gentle on the planet, and will make your kitchen shine. You can also explore other eco kitchen cleaning products, biodegradable bags, and bin liners from Hello Charlie to help minimise your lunch waste.
Conquer Waste-Free Lunches and Build a Greener Tomorrow
Embracing waste-free lunches is a vital stride towards a sustainable future. Small, conscious choices in our daily routines, such as choosing reusable items and reducing single-use plastics, collectively and significantly impact the environment. Hello Charlie provides a convenient platform for those eager to kickstart their waste-free lunch journey with eco-friendly products. So, let's unite in the commitment to reduce waste, preserve our planet, and create a greener, healthier future—one lunch at a time.