Sustainability in your lunch box

Single-use plastics are all the buzz right now. Starbucks just announced its plan to be rid of straws by 2020. Seattle is the first city to ban plastic utensils and straws in the United States. Many other companies, such as McDonald’s, American Airlines, and Hyatt have announced similar plans globally.

The conversation escalated with a video of a plastic straw being removed from a sea turtle’s nostril. Some say it might be too late, but at least there’s movement in the right direction. Recently, my friend was at a restaurant and was asked if she would rather have a straw with her drink, or save a turtle. She chose the turtle.

Companies, especially in the food industry, are beginning to make changes in their procedures. Now, we can follow suit by implementing eco-friendly standards in the lunches we bring to work.

It’s no secret that packing a lunch from home is sustainable for your wallet–but it can also benefit the planet. Here are some resources that can be reused daily and can serve your meal.

  • Reusable lunch bag. Please, ditch the brown paper bags and invest in a reusable pack – there are so many options!
  • Tupperware or glassware containers: say goodbye to Ziploc bags and hello to reusable containers. Pyrex has a wide range of sizes and types from glass to thick plastic. The Package Free Shop is also a great resource for stainless steel containers and cotton produce and sandwich bags.
  • Utensils. Stainless steel, bamboo, BPA-free plastic; there are so many out there. Even bringing silverware from home is an easy alternative to single-use utensils. Don’t forget to invest in a reusable straw while you’re at it – especially one with a cleaning brush.
  • Food wrap: cling and plastic wraps are great for keeping produce fresh, but do you reuse them? Also, once they’re contaminated, they’re usually tossed in the garbage. Beeswax food wrap is plastic-free and easy to clean for reuse. And when time comes, it is 100 percent compostable.

Investing in sustainable products can be pricy in the beginning, but investing in quality products will cut down on costs you may have made in the past for single-use plastics. Who knows, your food may even taste better!

Guest Blogger: Morgan Grunow

About Guest Blogger

Guest bloggers for the TDS Business Blog.

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