The zero waste lunchbox challenge

Can we say no to disposable plastic this year?

Guest post by Kathy Jenkins and the SLRD’s Zero in on Waste team
As with the start of each school year, there are always so many things to organise. Shoes, pants, shirts – check. Backpacks, crayons, markers – check. Lunch kits, healthy snacks, water –  check.
Okay, so lately I have noticed on my many tours to the pharmacy, the grocery store as well as all of those non- Pemberton stores that there are so many different types of containers, lunch kits and water bottles to chose from that I almost have choice overload.
Why so many shapes and sizes? Can there really be this many different types of snacks- and bread only seems to come in a square so this one should be easy. Do I buy 2 containers, 4 small ones, or go look at another store? Who knew this could be a challenging part of my shopping experience?

While perusing the aisles, I notice the sandwich bags, freezer bags and snack bags closely hug their container allies, waiting to be picked up to help  make sense of this lunchtime conundrum. How can I ensure my little ones bellies are satisfied for a whole school day, while keeping them healthy, with easy to open containers and not create too much waste in the process?

One decision  I can live with for the 2016/2017 school year is no soft plastic in lunches, meaning #2 and #4 plastics. While ziplocks can generally be recycled if you take the zipper off and bags can be collected and recycled, really how good are these single use products? At 3 cents a bag, could we not use this money in a better way?

Let’s all work together this school year to conserve resources in whatever way we can. Whether it is to use multiple use containers, ban bottled water, reuse clothes to friends or buy in bulk, there are many ways we can begin to change this throw away routine and create a new one that is better for everyone.
Keep your eyes peeled for a new contest for school classes throughout the SLRD and your children could win cool prizes by taking action. Let’s make this school year the one we say “no way” to waste!!
Litterless lunches are becoming a Canadian trend. Need recipe and snack ideas? Share them with us. We’ll post a series throughout October. Because we all need a few fresh ideas…
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