Steps to a simple sustainable lifestyle: let’s discuss what little contributions we can make. How does the lunchbox help?
If you take out food from home, use a lunchbox.
You surely carried one to school as a child. When did you start ditching it? Probably in your latter schooldays. It got out of fashion, right? Wrong! It’s one of the most iconic, responsible and sustainable fashion trends you could establish.
A lot of polythene…
If you bring food/ lunch to work, take it in a lunchbox instead of the polythene wraps and bags. Do this every day and you save 220 polythene wraps and bags a year that would otherwise end up in a landfill, which can never be recycled since it’s already contaminated with food material and wouldn’t decay for tens of thousands of years. 220 by the way is the approximate number of working days a year. And imagine there are five people in your family following this trend. Your family saves 5 x 220 polythene wraps and bags a year.
And now you know the degree of your impact. That’s how much change one lunchbox can do.
You think that separating your food waste, paper, metal and polythene into separate cans in office solved the problem, right? Well, that polythene you put in the bin can never be recycled because it’s contaminated, with food, oil or anything that’s not polythene.
Enter.. the lunchbox
Now you bring nothing for these bins, which would eventually be emptied into a landfill and cause all the problems of garbage pollution. If you’re super lazy like me, you’re thinking “oh, now I have to clean this lunchbox every day!” Well of course you have to, but here’s a tip: clean it at your workplace itself, right after you’re done eating. It won’t take two minutes.
Here’s the good news. In these two minutes, you’re sending a message, setting an example. You’re showing off your sustainable lifestyle, which is a good thing (the good kind of showing off), because the more people care, the better off the world would be.
There are lunchboxes made of wood, steel, plastic, composite materials containing all these, and so many new materials. Have your pick, get any one you want. Just be sure to use it for its full lifetime. Not more, not less.
The general-purpose (lunch)box
And if you’re up for it, take it to the next level. Take that lunchbox when you’re grabbing a sandwich from a cafe for takeaway. Tell them to put the sandwich in your lunchbox instead of a polythene wrap. Or take it to the grocer or market to get fish or meat or any food item that will instead be packed in a polythene wrap. Also remember to tare your box on the scale before you put on your grocery items in it. You don’t need to pay more for being sustainable. If you’re buying your lunch or breakfast from a takeout joint, hold out the lunchbox to the caterer to pack your meal into, instead of a polythene package. And the list goes on.
One thing to remember, wash your lunchbox thoroughly after each use you get out of it, because you’ll be multitasking with it.
Check out more sustainable options at How to save the planet with less consumption
Lavanya Witharana, co-founder of Discovering Minimalism is currently following her postgraduate studies in environmental science as she desires to share her unconditional love for the environment with like-minded enthusiasts from all around the world.