Benefits of a waste-free lunch
Save money! A waste-free lunch program can potentially save a significant amount of money, especially in the long run. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), packing a waste-free lunch saves an average student $250 per (nine-month) school year.
Less need for landfills! The EPA estimates that a waste-free lunch saves an average student 67 pounds of trash every school year. If every student in Alachua County packed a waste-free lunch for the school year, almost 2,000,000 pounds−or 1,000 tons−of trash could potentially be saved from the landfill.
Health is wealth! Many plastic packages and bottles contain synthetic chemicals that may be harmful to human health such as the bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is linked to numerous health effects including hormone imbalance, behavioral issues, and even obesity. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 93 percent of people had detectable levels of BPA in their urine.
Packing a waste-free lunch is easy! Take a look at these tips below.
- Try packing lunches the night before. Mornings will be that much easier.
- Make a bit extra for dinner and portion out leftovers during cleanup.
- Pre-portion snacks, nuts, and dried fruit into their reusable container, then simply grab and go.
- Pack fresh fruit! It comes in its own compostable packaging.
- Sandwich boxes (stainless steel or BPA-free plastic) or cotton snack bags are a great waste-free option.
- Last step! Throw in the reusable cutlery and washable napkin
For additional waste reduction tips, recommendations, or other information, please contact Alachua County’s Office of Waste Alternatives at 352-338-3233, or visit www.facebook.com/AlachuaCountyRecycles.