Planning food to be packaged and eaten at a spot that requires some bumpy travelling is never the easiest task for the parent who has to deal with their kids meal last minute. It could also be you bringing the lunches, if you have a more fixed early schedule and you have to bring your own food. save you some in the long-run.
And isn’t it just annoying when your lunch box or office space is filled up with so many plastic bottles and wrappers that even after discarding the smell has decided to stay on your fingers and area and maybe a stain or two is hiding somewhere.
The thing is, you decide what to do with all those plastic bottles and packaging whether you want to throw them to the garbage bin for the city dump to take in or you recycle them yourself but this article is about creating to-go meals that won’t cause waste and minimize mess during the travel. This is about making meals that can contain their own mess neatly in however they were packaged and should be fairly easy to clean up and have minimal or no trash to be discarded at the home destination as well.
And so here are some tips to create trash-less packed meals while they are still neatly kept in one piece.
Going zero waste is very difficult especially in places that are not as developed or diverse and do not have too many options that are green and affordable at the same time.
Also a helpful side tip with frequent grocery shoppers are your own large, durable shopping bags that are reusable- unless you use the plastics to line your trash bins which are very important to living comfortably.
Stick to whole, fresh foods instead of nearly fake, over processed ones
Keep in mind to buy foods that are whole, fresh and healthy as much as possible because they come in no plastic or just one plastic instead of buying a lot of junkie snacks and fast food meals that have a lot of wasteful packaging and wasteful calories! A burger meal or 2, candy bars, chips and mini sugary cereal boxes with juice tetra packs on the sides are harmful to both the environment and the body compared to buying a whole chicken with veggies and making a dessert out of fruits, yogurt or real dark chocolate.
You can make time to prepare healthy meals, healthy food can be fast and easy and if you do all the prep work or the food preparation the night before, the morning will have it very easy.You can chop up all the vegetables, make a broth or sauce, marinate the meats, parcook the meat if it is long cooking and in the morning you only finish off the cooking, assembly and you just pack it up.
Now that you have that down now you have to purchase reusable, preferably higher quality, sturdy plastic so that is lasts a much longer time and does not leak food easily or at all.Corn plastic is a fairly new invention, it is a plastic made from the skins of corn. Hopefully more eco-friendly items that mimic plastic and Styrofoam become more mainstream!
You can peel and chop fruits and candy bars, put them in containers too
Provide a couple of thick, little paper bags and extra napkins to help wrap up things like banana or orange peels before discarding them. But I advise you take out the skin and discard /reuse it at home and place the fruits in a container. But you can skip this step if you want to ensure the fruit’s maximum freshness.You can do this to candy bars and chips but most especially to chocolates and sugary treats because it is less messy in a hard plastic container.
Reusable utensils and maybe even cloth napkins
Also provide metal utensils or any utensils that are intended to not be disposed after one use. Provide napkins and wet tissues and even hand sanitizers that are preferably made of recycled and natural materials and you can dispose these in the office trash because disposing them in a lunchbox pocket is sooo highschool. You are not a slave. Just throw your trash in a designated trash area at least.And I know I also mentioned to bring extra tissue, that counts as some form of waste but it is much more absorbable by the environment, plastic is not. But if you are very OCD about the environment just use either recycled paper napkins or use a cloth napkin.
Your bottles and tetra-packs are noisy and annoying
This is important too: bring a thermos. Plastic bottles are annoying and pile up in school or office trashcans. And anyways a thermos can look cool and suited to your personal taste while it keeps your drink at a desired temperature for a longer time. And do not forget it also can keep soup very well. Or if you are really cheap you can just use the same water bottle all the time for a few days or a week. Just clean the mouth or throw it away after a 4 days.
And do not waste food!
And yes lastly but indeed not the least do not waste your leftovers. Wasting food is never a good thing and it is damn hard to think up of a good excuse on why you made or took too much food and did not finish it. You just misjudged your stomach, but if you are around 11-13 years old you should definitely learn how to pack your own lunch, cook basically, do basic chores, grocery shop and yes dispose of your own mess neatly.