Working Towards a No-Waste Lunch

We have always used lunchpails around our house.  My husband has a hardshell igloo that he loves. It’s a big ol’ insulated sucker that he can fit everything into whether its food or not.  I like to use a small, squishy, Nissan lunch box that I got for free.  (Well, ok, the lunch box came with the purchase of my latest vehicle, so I jokingly tell people that it’s the most expensive lunch box I ever owned.)

We were also in the habit of using Ziploc baggies for everything (the generics didn’t seal as well, of course) we put into our lunchboxes. It was how our mommies raised us. It was convenient. But it generated a lot of waste and cost a lot of money, having to buy those fancy baggies every month – both of these things annoyed me. I hate buying stuff just so I can use it once and throw it away later.

I started taking leftovers-in-tupperware with loose fruit for my lunch, and encouraged the hubby to do the same.

He refused. He required chips, pudding and a sandwich.  I bought him sandwich-shaped reusable containers, which he really liked. Not only did it prevent waste (which he really did not care about, he is not a greenie, I use the money pitch), but even better, it kept his sandwich from getting squished in his lunchpail and he could stack things on top of it to fit even MORE STUFF into his huge igloo lunchbox.

I also bought little reusable cups that were the same size-ish as the pudding cups he liked, and made up a bunch of boxed pudding on the weekends, packing it into these tubs for him. Honestly this didn’t last long – thankfully he gave up pudding around the time I got tired of making pudding cups, trading them in for apples and little candies.

The one thing I could not break him of was using baggies for chips.  He hated putting his chips in a box. He said it was weird and he couldn’t fit as many chips in there so I sighed, and he kept his ziplocs. But this Christmas while I was shopping for gifts, I found the perfect thing in a little craft shop. Re-usable cloth snack bags!  And they look cool! They had an interior lining resistant to moisture and stains, so that most of the time you can just shake it out or wipe it out. But, if needed, can be run through a wash cycle. Even better, it was made by a local artisan and sold at a locally owned shop.  I bought a few, filled them with treats to give as small holiday gifts, and vowed to return after Christmas and get some for myself.

Sadly, after Christmas, they were gone! I spent a little bit of time looking for them before I caved and went to etsy to order them. I got five of them for just under $5 each, and eagerly await their arrival in the mail… 

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