5 Ways to Use Fewer Zip Lock Bags

photo by Steven Depolo,    Flickr

photo by Steven Depolo, Flickr

Many of us grew up making our own lunches for school, slapping together that peanut butter and jelly sandwich and sliding into in a one-use zip lock bag. These days, we’re much more conscious of our plastic waste. Here are some easy ways to streamline the lunch packing process, whether it be for work or for your kids, to avoid adding to landfills and ocean pollution. 

  1. Glass food containers or reusable BPA-free plastic food containers are your best friend. Especially at offices where there is a dishwasher or sink available so you don't have to carry home a dirty container. Glass is the best option, but plastic is sometimes good if your bag is already too heavy. If you choose plastic, look for number 5 plastics which are food-grade safe. Avoid microwaving it or putting it in the dishwasher. Instead, wash with cold water to prevent head degradation of the material.

  2. Eat less meat. Freezer bags are often used to preserve meats. So lower your carbon footprint AND use less plastic by going vegetarian and eating fresh produce that doesn't need to be stored in a bag. 

  3. Re-use your bags. If you must use plastic food-storage bags, wash them out and reuse them a few times before throwing them away. Even better, try reusable silicone bags that can be reused 1000’s of times! We love these ones from the Package-Free Shop.

  4. Simply don't purchase plastic bags. You'd be surprised how creative you can be when you don't have them as an option at your home. 

  5. Stock up on food-making supplies at the office. If you have space, keep a loaf of bread and your other lunch-making ingredients at work—that way you don't have to pack a lunch at all!

Cameron Bruns Ewing is the managing editor of Just Us Gals. She recently started working for Hubspot and is also pursuing a degree in environmental sustainability from University College Dublin. Follow her outdoor adventures & travels via Instagram and her sustainability work via LinkedIn.