Can we be Trash Free at Lunch?
How close can we get?
The Ecology Club believes we can decrease the amount of waste made every day at school during the lunch time. Everyone is already doing some things to reduce our trash levels. Let's see how many more pounds we can drop off the trash scale.
Club members will be rewarding school students, staff, and visitors when they are caught making greener choices when consuming food.
June This summer on picnic outings, think green and have some fun!
May Putting it all Together
How earth friendly is your lunch now? Scan this checklist:
Can you claim 4/6 on the list?
- reusable beverage container
- reusable snack container(s)
- reusable lunch tote/box
- reusable utensils
- washable entree / sandwich dish
- cloth napkin
Can you claim 100% ?
We have prizes for students or staff being caught with 100% these two weeks of May.
April Cloth Napkins
How to clean off gooey fingers and faces at lunch? When away from home, the logical choice to use seems to be paper towels, napkins, or tissues because you can toss the goo away. A paper choice consumes a horrendous amount of tree resources. Cloth napkins can be substituted in many cases where paper napkins are used; it just takes a change in choice and some practice.
Students take their reusable lunch containers home to be cleaned and refilled. A cloth napkin can also make the trip.
March Reusable Utensils
Instead of disposable (throw away) plastic forks, spoons, and knives, stainless steel or heavy reusable plastic tableware is best. These items can be washed at home and used week after week. Of course the most eco-friendly lunch bites are the finger food choices that require no utensils. This is not always possible with that side of yogurt in your lunch bag. Sandwiches are the ultimate in utensil free food!
February Lunch boxes, bags, sacks that are used again and again
Many Millburn School community already do this simple step to lunch trash reduction. For some fashionable choices even made from recycled materials check out the resource page after February 12 for club members' picks.
January Reusable snack sacks/containers
Snack time or lunch sides of crackers, jello, raisins, nuts, baked chips, etc are best put in containers that can be washed and used many times. Ziplock plastic bags can be reused several times but a more permanent steel or plastic choice reduces garbage quantity and manufacturing of plastic bags. There is a bonus when using these reusable containers. Buy in bulk and portion out snack servings per day. Larger packages of chips and raisins actually saves garbage space in the landfill and SAVES money for the purchaser.
December Reusable/Recyclable Beverage Container Month
Do you bring your favorite beverage to school in a container that is kinder to the environment? Aluminum containers are good (if you remember to recycle the can). A reusable thermos, steel water bottle, ceramic mug, or glass container can be washed and used again and again. This is a better choice. Let us catch you using one of these at school.
Not a good choice = plastic disposable water bottles
- Overall, plastic single serve bottles are not as recyclable as people believe. Most end up in trash cans, under bushes, in ditches or roadsides littering the landscape in general. Left outside in Illinois, the plastic becomes brittle after a year. This means small plastic bits fill the soil over many centuries but do not rot.
- The weight of shipping plastic single serve water bottles uses an enormous amount of gasoline getting them to stores and vending machines.
- The packaging that wraps the cases of water bottles is a plastic that is not reused or recycled by factories = more trash that does not decompose.
- Not many manufacturing places are remaking the plastic used in many types of water bottles. They are types that have low commercial (can sell and make other things out of it) value. That is changing a bit but there is still the above mentioned problems which make it the last choice for carrying liquid refreshment.