Did you know that according to the EPA, the average American produces 4.4 pounds of garbage in one day? That’s 29 pounds a week, or 1,600 pounds in a year! That’s enough garbage to fill and line up enough garbage trucks to reach the moon. Or cover 990,000 football fields with garbage piled 6 feet high. That’s a whole lot of garbage – much of which is recyclable, reusable or compostable.
This Friday is Earth Day, and I have a challenge for each of you: Pack a completely waste-free lunch.
Let’s not get too crazy here, let’s be realistic. Here are some guidelines:
- Stay away from bags: ziplocks, brown or pre-packaged individual servings. Use containers that can be brought home and washed. Use a lunch box or small tote bag. And buy in bulk this week and spend a couple of minutes portioning out what your child will eat into a small container.
- If your child takes a drink to school, pour it into a thermos. For most kids, water is the optimal choice anyhow! If your child will only drink cold water, fill a water bottle half way and freeze it – top it off in the morning and you should be good to go.
- Send plastic or metal utensils that can be brought home and washed.
- Consider a cloth napkin.
- If you have to send pre-packaged food, find out of your school participates in a recycling program. Some schools even have a “Trash to Cash” type program where kids can turn in juice pouches, ziplocks and wrappers and the school receives cash in return.
- If your child doesn’t eat all of his lunch, have him bring it home so you can compost the remains, if that is an option in your neighborhood.
Are you up for the challenge? On Friday, I will invite you to share your lunches with the rest of the readers. Hopefully we can all inspire each other to pack waste-free!
And now, for today’s lunch…despite Mother Nature refusing to believe that it is Spring, this lunch is a nod to the very elusive season…
The Contents – Granny smith apple slices, strawberries, cucumber slices, snap peas and baby carrots. Chinese BBQ pork. Wheat thins. And a Peep.
The Details – Even though I added the chick and (orange) flower pick, my local friends will appreciate the cat and dog. As in its Raining Cats and Dogs. Too bad I can’t come up with something for the daily hail storms we seem to be having.
The Verdict – My kids heads almost popped off with excitement this morning. Chinese BBQ pork AND a Peep in the same lunch.