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If you’re looking to save some cash, there’s no easier way to start than with bringing your own lunch to work every day. If you eat out for lunch every day, you might not think that it’s just $5 here, $10 there … but it adds up. On average, Americans spend nearly $3,000 on lunch each year — that’s more than enough for that new phone, the most elaborate tattoo ever, or even a used car.
Bringing your lunch is a huge win for you, but have you ever stopped to consider if your lunch packaging is a win for the planet? Like in the case of those little plastic bags you use to carry your PB&J sandwich. Those are a problem. Every year, the average person uses nearly one pounds worth of plastic sandwich bags. We know, we know … that doesn’t sound like it’s that big of a deal. But if we were to break that down into quantities, that would be a total of 540 plastic baggies a year that we use only once.
You may not realize it, but those single-use plastic bags stick around for a lot longer than any of us ever will. Forget about diamonds — plastic is forever and we are not doing nearly enough to combat this serious problem. Globally, we produce 300 million tons of plastic each year, but only a small percent is ever reclaimed or recycled. That isn’t even the scariest part. It’s estimated that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans!
Sure, you can always reuse those plastic baggies until they’re beyond practical use — kudos to you if you do that, but there is a way that we can all do better.
By swapping those plastic baggies and plastic lunch boxes for more sustainable options, you are on your way to making a positive difference in your everyday life.
1. ECOlunchbox Three-in-One Stainless Steel Food Container Set
Bento boxes are perfect for transporting your lunch, like this ECOlunchbox Three-in-One Stainless Steel Food Container Set. This 100 percent stainless steel lunchbox set is divided into two tiers and three separate containers that are perfect for storing sandwiches and snacks. It’s also lightweight and compact, so you don’t have to dread lugging a heavy container to work. You can pick up this lunchbox for $28.60.
2. Cloth Sandwich Bags by Yummi Pouch, Set of 3
Swap out those ocean-killing plastic sandwich bags for these vibrant Cloth Sandwich Bags by Yummi Pouch. This set comes with three BPA-free, phthalate-free, PVC-free, and lead-free cloth bags that come in colorful patterns. Each 7×7-inch bag has a moisture-resistant interior and they are machine washable for easy clean-up. If the ones pictured don’t strike your fancy, you can see the other patterns by clicking the link or the photo above. You can pick up a set of three for $14.99.
3. Thrive Home Products Premium Stainless Steel Insulated Thermos
For the colder months, nothing beats a hot bowl of soup for lunch — but transporting that to work or school comes with its own set of worries, namely the container opening up while you’re in transit and spilling soup all over your things. Well, this Thrive Home Products Premium Stainless Steel Insulated Thermos will eliminate those fears. Each thermos can hold up to 16.9 ounces of your favorite soup, chili, or curry and has an airtight, leak-proof design. It’ll also keep your soup hot for up to 10 hours which is great if you’re taking your lunch to school and don’t have access to a refrigerator or microwave. You can pick up this thermos for $19.99.
Make these simple switches and you’ll never have to feel guilty about those single-use plastic sandwich baggies again. For more information about how plastic waste affects our oceans and marine wildlife, join One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic movement and more simple solutions to cutting plastic out of your life!