We all know by now that single-use plastic is wreaking havoc on the planet, with everyday plastic straws, bags and utensils ending up in landfills and oceans. Sometimes, it can feel daunting to join the crusade to crack down on man-made waste and reverse the alarming effects — but it’s actually never been easier to get a jump start this back-to-school season.
Reduce your carbon footprint with these 20 eco-friendly alternatives to disposable lunch time plastic. From reusable bags to a self-cleaning water bottle and beeswax wraps, we’ve got you covered to kick midday plastic to the curb.
These BPA-free, stainless steel containers are just what your snacks need — keep fruits and veggies fresh, and stack a few
energy balls for a midday pick-me-up. Bright lids mean they’re easy to spot in your lunch bag.
Source: Bioterra Eco Shop
U Konserve Nesting Trio in Sky, $28,
Tea lovers, rejoice! This mood-boosting bottle boasts a removable infuser, so you can easily sip on freshly-brewed tea as you commute to work (or walk to your living room couch).
18 oz. Traveler Vacuum-Insulated Bamboo Water Bottle in Terrazzo, approx. $46,
Vancouver-based company EastVan Bees may be known for their sweet, small-batch honey, but they sell a roster of zero-waste products, too. Our pick? These mesh produce bags, perfect for your after-work grocery shop stop on the way home.
Source: EastVan Bees
Reusable Mesh Cotton Produce Bags (set of 6), $35,
Both stylish and sustainable, these sandwich bags are made from food-grade silicone, so they don’t leak, and are microwave and dishwasher safe!
Reusable Sandwich Bag Set, $33,
Sad salads and measly leftovers get an upgrade with this gorgeous three-piece stainless steel set that keeps everything neatly separated and keeps food hot or cold for longer.
3 Layer Tiffin Food Storage Container, $44,
If you can believe it, this double-insulated water bottle actually cleans itself with the touch of a button. Using UV-C LED light to eliminate up to 99.9 percent of bio-contaminants from your water and bottle, this is the future of water consumption.
Larq Self-Cleaning Water Bottle, $125,
Skip disposable straws and save the sea turtles with this durable, reusable glass straw set. Compact enough for your daily commute or lunch, ditching plastic has never been so slick.
Source: Rose City Goods
Glass Straw Set, $28,
The easiest way to transition into a more eco-friendly lifestyle is to swap single-use plastic bags for reusable versions. This red gingham print from Baggu is made from 40 percent recycled nylon sourced from pre-consumer waste and is practical as ever. Haul groceries, your lunch or more bags in this transitional piece.
Source: Easy Tiger Goods
Standard Baggu, $16,
Forget paper napkins and opt for these timeless linen versions instead (offered in a variety of hues)! Entrepreneur
Jackie Kai Ellis recently teamed up with homegrown brand Flax Sleep to create a European-inspired collection of linens for the kitchen.
Source: Flax Sleep
The Cocktail Napkins (set of 4), $42,
Elevate your coffee or tea and ditch the disposable everyday cups with this richly-colored glass mug.
Source: Easy Tiger Goods
Borosilicate Mug, $35,
Swap out your disposable cup of joe with Nespresso’s impressive coffee machine. Bonus, the brands recycling program makes disposing of their aluminum capsules a breeze. Simply collect your capsules, drop off the bag at a Canada Post mailbox (don’t worry, prepaid postage is included) and the bag is delivered to a recycling facility where the coffee grounds are separated from the aluminum, then composed, and the aluminum is recycled.
Round Head VertuoPlus, $249,
Be(e) gone saran wrap! This beeswax paper — made from tree resin and organic jojoba oil infused into a hemp and organic cotton cloth (wash in cold water) — is reusable, antibacterial and compostable. A smart alternative to living less wastefully.
Beeswax Wrap, $20,
From H&M Home’s conscious collection comes this cup made from recycled glass. Making your everyday hydration needs that much easier and enjoyable.
Source: H&M Home
Beverage Glass, $6,
Conquer meal prep with these reusable lunch bags designed with double-lock closure to seal in freshness for a full week of snacks.
Source: Bed, Bath & Beyond
BlueAvocado® Reusable (re)zip® Reusable Lunch Bags (Set of 5), $30,
Healthy habits don’t happen overnight but perhaps this sleek to-go tumbler will inspire you to fill up at your favorite coffee destination and begin your journey of being less wasteful.
Source: Old Faithful Shop
To Go Tumbler, $51,
This Bento Box — made from bamboo fibre — is not only good for the environment but looks fabulous on your desk, too. It just might be your new mainstay for transporting
salads, sandwiches and more.
Ekobo Rectangle Bento Box in Coral, $23,
Held together by a convenient holder, this cutlery set is ideal for travel or work — and bonus: it’s dishwasher safe. Put a hold on plastic cutlery from now on and keep this set nearby when you’re feeling peckish.
Source: Hudson's Bay
Four-Piece Travel Cutlery Set, $20,
Practicality is kicked up a notch with this stylish yet versatile canvas bag. You’ll want to say bye to plastic bags for good once you test out the sturdy woven handle. Bonus: it’s made in Canada and machine washable!
Heritage Canvas Lunch Bag by Danica, $25,
Instead of running out to grab your daily carbonated beverage, make one from your desk with SodaStream’s Fizzi. Transform flat water into sparkling hydration and cut out the added single-use waste.
Source: Soda Stream
Author: Victoria Christie & Amanda Demeku