Problem: Due to the synthetic nature of plastic, sandwich bags, drink bottles, and “sporks” do not biodegrade, and thus will be cluttering up our planet for a very, very long time. (1)
Solution: Ditch the disposable plastic bags and bottles!
Problem: Some plastics (still) contain chemicals such as BPA, which may seep into foods and produce negative health effects, particularly on fetuses, infants, and older children, as well as on adult blood pressure. Heat from microwaves and dishwashers may cause BPA seep into foods at a higher rate. (2)
Solution: Lose the BPA-laden plastic food storage!
To replace disposable storage bags and bottles, consider the following options:
Reusable Sandwich and Snack Bags
Reusable bags are made of a lightweight fabric and have a BPA-free moisture-proof lining. They are generally dishwasher-safe and will replace many, many disposable plastic bags over their lifetime.
While there are many brands, Lunchskins and Blue Avocado are two of our favorites. They come in multiple sizes and closure options (velcro, zipper) and have lots of fun patterns and colors.
The Wikipedia definition of bento is “a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine. A traditional bento holds rice, fish or meat, with pickled or cooked vegetables, usually in a box-shaped container.”
In recent years, bento boxes have become a popular option for carrying lunches to school and work. Most bento box sets are made of plastic or stainless steel. We personally prefer stainless steel like those made by ECOlunchbox, but if plastic is more your style, make sure to choose a BPA-free option. Bentology has some really cool options.
Need a little bento inspiration? Check out this video, “Bento Box Lunches | Healthy & Vegan!” from Mind Over Munch:
[reminder]How do you pack lunches for work or school? If you use reusable bags, bento boxes, or any other eco-friendly methods, be sure to share in the comments below.[/reminder]
(1) How long does it take for plastics to biodegrade?