Reusable Containers Just One of Many Ways to Pack Waste-Free Lunches | The Heart of the Farm is the Family

There are several ways that you can pack waste-free lunches and save money in the process.

For example, one way to spend less on lunch is to grab food to pack that you may already have in your refrigerator or cabinets, so that you can stretch your food budget and reduce wasted food in your home, said Laura Stanton, educator, family and consumer sciences, Ohio State University Extension.

“For example, instead of buying single-use dips and condiments, pack your own from home,” she said. “You can use small, reusable containers for salad dressings, ketchup, and other condiments and side dishes. Not only does that reduce waste, (but) single-use items are more expensive and cost more money in the long run.”

With consumer inflation on the rise — increasing 7.9% over the past year according to a report by the U.S. Labor Department — costs for everyday items are also on the rise. So, taking inventory of what you may already have in your home to prepare and pack for lunch is not only a good way to lessen waste and benefit the environment, it’s also a way to lessen your costs.

“Packing waste-free lunches is a terrific way to save money,” Stanton said. “A bonus is that you are also being a better steward of our planet. Reducing waste and decreasing our use of single-use items are terrific ways to be more sustainable.”

Here are other tips Stanton suggests:

Use a reusable lunch box or bag. Avoid single-use items like disposable plastic or paper bags. Personalize, monogram or label your reusable lunch container and items so they do not get lost.

Pack reusable utensils. Avoid disposable plastic forks, spoons and knives. Pack utensils made of durable plastic, bamboo or…

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