The 5 for Ryde Mums Talk School Lunches
Firstly, a disclaimer. We don’t eat clean. We like to swear. Sometimes (most of the time) we drink too much. We are definitely not the preachy, smug types, so relaaaax. Googling ‘zero waste lunch ideas’ for this article, has actually made us feel quite tense!
So here’s 5 easy thoughts on how to reduce the waste your kids create at school, while still maintaining very low parenting standards.
1. Don’t change too much
Firstly, start small. Don’t overhaul your whole morning routine and freak yourself out. Look at what you normally provide for school lunches (and the waste it creates when your kid is done), and then consider some tweakage. One small change is enough (seriously, you’ve got enough going on).
2. Try something new (or don’t)
If your goal is to substitute something else in place of a heavily packaged convenience item then you might need some new ideas. That said, we are big supporters of the “send whatever the leftovers were that you didn’t eat last night you painful child” type of school lunch. Because we believe nothing says I love you like “here’s a cold version of the meal I cooked for you yesterday”. Plus, um convenience!
3. Unwrap Yourself
Mummy’s little helper it may be, but plastic film (or Glad Wrap) really isn’t great for the environment (yeah we know, this absolutely sucks). In fact, in a recent park clean we did at Anzac Park in West Ryde, the most commonly found litter item along (with cigarette butts) was plastic food wrap. And its seriously easy to avoid it, once you know how.
- Containers: Put food straight into your kid’s lunch boxes. Seriously, if the lid is on and its not going to get mixed up with something next to it, you won’t need plastic wrap.
- Paper: Waxed paper or paper bags are easy to use instead of plastic and comparable in price. If clean and returned, they can even be reused far more often too.
- Bees Wax wraps: If you’ve never heard of these, they are pretty cool. And there’s a local workshop on soon, if you’d like to know more.
4. Invest in some good gear
Like wine, all lunch boxes are not created equal. Consider spending a little more on your lunchbox if it means it will last your kid’s school career. Seriously, we’ve tested this. A $4 lunchbox will cost you just as much as a fancy $35 one in the end, if you have to replace it every year when it cracks or bends. But if your child is prone to losing stuff (let’s face it they all are), then move along team, we get you.
On a side note: Our favourites are some of these stainless steel bad boys. They are super durable and easy to clean.
5. Food Waste
Most of our bins are 40% food waste and school yards are no different. Be realistic about how much your kid needs to eat. Scale it back if they are coming home with a half full lunch box. Food waste is just the worst, up there with Dad jokes and bin juice.
So C’mon, Keep it Clean
Lastly, if you notice your school is looking a little grubby after a few weeks back, maybe talk to them about having a clean up. Or better yet, do a phantom 3 piece clean next time you drop off/pick up. Yep seriously this is the sort of stuff we do all the time (and we are only slightly mad). You’d be surprised how quickly you can make a difference, and some of the other parents might join you. And then before you know it you’ll be sipping champagnes and laughing about how you met by talking about rubbish. (Ok so maybe not, but you’ll feel damn good about yourself and that’s almost as good as champagne, amirite?).
Good luck and may the school year be kind, your kids safe and well, and the only rubbish you have to worry about in 2018 is the next season of Bachelor, Love Island. Seriously, we can’t freaking wait!
About the Authors
Jo Taranto and Corina Seeto are some loose Mums from North Ryde. They have 4 boys between them and also have paid jobs which they do occasionally too. Jo likes drinking whiskey and Corina has a bar under her house, so they are pretty much inseparable. Oh, and they want you to know it’s not too late to see the ABC’s amazing series, War on Waste. Also, there is now a pretty passionate movement starting in the Ryde District too, so they’d love you to get involved. X