Monday, September 7, 2015

Zero Waste School Lunches

by Jean Turocy, Sedona Recycles

Image courtesy of  Inhabitots
Reducing waste from school lunches is an effective way to help your child (or class) to experience sustainability directly. We are responsible for everything that passes through our hands, adopting zero waste lunch practices raises awareness about our impact.  Schools are sometimes hard pressed to offer a good recycling system due to budgets, time and staff restraints, and non-recyclable materials used by food service providers. Changing a few habits can yield big results despite the setbacks.
Lunch from home: if there is no recycle bin offered, adopt the “pack it in, pack it out” motto: take your empty recyclables with you in your lunchbox and recycle at home.   
·      Use a reusable bag or lunchbox.
·      Use a washable container instead of disposable baggies. Reuse baggies, or recycle clean ones with grocery bags.
·      Plasticware, take it home and wash it.
·      Most plastic food containers are recyclable, (yoghurt, applesauce, etc).
·      Buy drinks in recyclable containers (call your recycler to ask what they take).
·      Cloth napkin
·      Save leftovers for a snack later.

TriBento lunch box
School lunch:
·      Bring a small lunch kit with reusable plasticware and a cloth napkin.
·      Put condiments on the food, not in a separate container.
·      Find out in advance what’s being served and if you don’t like it, bring a lunch. 
·      Call your local recycler and see if they’ll do a waste audit.  
Note: Sedona Recycles can monitor the zero waste lunches for schools in the Sedona area.