Many of us are finding new ways to save, recycle, and re-use. Here's a few things I've been doing when I pack my lunch. None of them are earth-shattering, but little things that take little time and reduce waste:
1. Instead of buying yogurt in the little containers, we buy it in big tubs like cottage cheese. It's a lot cheaper, and less plastic goes into the environment.
2. To pack the yogurt for my lunch, I'm using 1/2 pint canning jars instead of plastic containers. They wash up, I have plenty of them, and they're not plastic. Other recycled jars would work too. This isn't a good idea for kids lunches, of course, but most of us adults can manage to carry a glass jar without breaking it (note that I said most!)
3. Ditto for cottage cheese or other liquid-type stuff for lunch.
4. I have always liked wax paper sandwich bags but I have not been able to find any for years. I finally searched online and found that at Webstaurant. com you can buy them 1000 at a time! They're cheap too (15.49/1000)--until you add shipping (12.28). But even with shipping I think they are a little cheaper than plastic sandwich bags.
There are two kinds available, "dry" and "wet." That refers to what you plan to pack in them, not the bags themselves! I opted for the "wet" bags because you never know when a sandwich will leak.
1000 bags should last me a long, long time. Once a bag has been used, it can go in recycling. Cool.
5. Paper lunch bags are a given, of course. And sometimes they can be re-used for several days. I sometimes use the paper bags, but mostly I use a canvas tote bag these days--it washes and can be re-used over and over.
6. I make my morning coffee and take it with me. That saves a stop to buy coffee and one more throwaway cup in the environment. If you don't have time to make coffee, bring your own cup and fill it up instead.
What simple things are you doing to reduce the amount of waste your family creates? I'd love to hear some more ideas.