As a society we depend on the many convenient products that are available to us, and nowhere is it easier to use prepackaged food, than when packing a school lunch. Most of us pack lunch items in single-use plastic bags, aluminum foil, or wax paper, or purchase single-serving items like chips, cookies and yogurts, that come in their own disposable package. Admittedly, these products are easy and convenient, but ….what is the environmental cost?

Much of the trash we generate comes from the packaging on the food we buy, and lunch foods are no exception. In fact, it has been estimated that on average a school-age child using a disposable lunch generates 67 pounds of waste per school year. That equates to 18,760 pounds of lunch waste for just one average-size elementary school.

Although we may enjoy the convenience of pre-packaged food, we should stop to think about the impact it has on our communities landfills. If you’re like the William O. Schaefer Earth Kids, you’re always on the lookout for small changes that make a real difference in the world, and packing a Waste-Free Lunch is a change that’s easy to make.

May 14th to May 18th William O. Schaefer in partnership with Cottage Lane Elementary and the SOCES PTA are sponsoring a Waste-Free Lunch! Please join us and truly make a difference by packing a Waste-Free Lunch!

Below is a video created by the Earth Kids that shows you how to pack a Waste-Free Lunch.

Things to consider when packing a Waste-Free Lunch:

  • sandwiches and other main dishes, fresh fruits and, fresh vegetables, and treats in a reusable lunch container or containers.
  • cloth napkins
  • stainless-steel forks and spoons
  • reusable drink containers
  • reusable lunchboxes

Use this worksheet to compare which items in your lunch are reusable, recyclable, compostable, or waste before and after your Waste-Free Lunch Day. The goal is to have the majority of the leftover items from your lunch in the first three columns, and have as few items as possible in the waste column.
When planning and packing your Waste-Free lunch use this worksheet to find out how well you did!

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