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Diet & Nutrition

Gemma McCaw's guide to eco-friendly eating

Sort out your lunch while saving the planet!

By Gemma McCaw
Now that it's back to work and school for most of us, it's a great time to think about reducing the amount of single-use plastic in our packed lunches.
Taking your own lunch will not only save you time and money, and help you eat well, but you'll also be doing your bit for the environment.

Fresh is best

Go for fresh, natural foods. Think mini carrots, chopped cucumber or cherry tomatoes, as well as cut apples and oranges to give the kids energy all day!

Better boxes

Bento boxes with little compartments often have tightly sealed lids, which means there's no need for plastic wraps. Each compartment provides space for a different food, which will keep things fresh and fun for the kids.

Ditch the plastic

Rather than opting for disposable cutlery, take some from home or even invest in a bamboo set if you're feeling fancy. This way, you'll reduce plastic and get into a good routine of packing lunches.

Drink up!

It's never too early to teach your children about the impact of single-use water bottles and straws on the environment. Invest in a good-quality drink bottle for you and your child and get into the habit of taking it everywhere so there's no need to buy water.

Make it fun!

To get kids excited about living green, get them on board. Set up a family challenge and reward their efforts towards reducing our environmental impact.

Upsize

It might be quick and easy to choose individually wrapped snacks for kids' lunch boxes, but try buying larger cartons that you can portion out yourself. You'll save both resources and money. Even better, get organised in advance by filling the freezer with homemade muesli bars, slices and muffins.

Wrap it up

The number-one thing you can do to be more eco-friendly is to opt for reusable food-storage options. Give beeswax wraps a go – a fantastic alternative to plastic, they can be washed and reused for months! More than a quarter of our landfills are paper waste, so do what you can to ditch paper and use cloth napkins instead.

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