Lately the issue of waste and the environment has been at the forefront of my mind. I have slowly been taking stock of our lives and living habits to see where we can cut back on waste.

One morning while doing the mundane (and mostly thankless) task of making packed lunches I realised that I could cut a lot of waste here and I was quite shocked.

This is what little lady’s lunches normally look like (with some variations).


Little lady also takes fruit separately, which she eats at break time.

Where can I make changes? Straight away I can lose the foil. I mean her sandwiches are in a lunch box, in a bag! Seems a bit ridiculous to wrap them in foil too!

So foil gone. What’s next? Little lady’s treat. Her treat varies depending what niceties are on offer when we go shopping. These particular treats are individually wrapped but come in a box, in a plastic wrapper. Lots of packaging, and therefore waste there. With a bit of forethought and 20 minutes spent in the kitchen while baby D was having his nap and she now has home made (freezable) treats. I cut the welshcakes into little stars rather than the traditional circles so that they fit in her lunch box. We also stumbled across these fine(!) gadgets 2 for £1 in the pound shop, which makes her sandwiches a little bit nicer now they are naked (well we think so)


I do like her lunch to be relatively good for her so I always try to add a cheese stick. There are again individually wrapped (easy for lunches) but in a packet. The individual wrapper goes in the bin at school so technically it doesn’t affect my waste but that’s not really the point here. We are still producing waste no matter where it is disposed of. This was the item that made me feel a little bit silly. I thought about how to reduce the packaging for a while before realising IT IS CHEESE!!!! I honestly can’t believe I have been buying these as well as the block of cheese that is a staple in our shopping. Just goes to show that marketing works. The individually wrapped cheeses “perfect for lunch boxes” fooled me for quite a while. Well no more. Today I cut my own cheese sticks from the block in the fridge. Less packaging and a slightly sheepish mammy!

So what does little lady’s lunch box look like now?


Some naked homemade jam sandwiches, a home made treat, cheese cut from the block and a yoghurt.

Any ideas on what to do about the yoghurt? I am still quite stuck on that one so for now the long yoghurts will stay.

8 thoughts on “Waste

  1. LOVE it! You’ve done a fabulous job. Not only have you reduced the waste, but I always feel happier giving the Smalls homemade snacks as you know exactly what has gone into it! For yoghurt, hubby and BigSmall take some from a big 500ml pot portioned out into a mini tupperware pot, along with a spoon (although I think Pre-School do provide spoons)

    • That’s a good idea. I’ll have to look for those next time I am shopping. Having only one container for the week will definitely cut down our waste. Thank you. A mine of info as always 🙂

  2. There are some make your own yoghurt mixes available in powder form that come in a foil/plastic packet that could be put into reusable tupperware tubs thus reducing waste of the large plastic pot unless the said pot could be up-cycled for growing seeds in maybe in place of a plant pot ?

  3. Brilliant reduction:) I’ve been thinking about the waste that comes back in the box – crusts to the birds, banana skin and paper from fairy cake in the compost, yoghurt pot washed and out out for recycling leaving me the lid of the yoghurt pot. I’m going to try making yoghurt this week with a flask, not that the kids would deign to eat it!!

    • I make my fairy cakes in silicone cases which are reusable but composting paper ones is a good idea. Hmm yes the lid of a yoghurt pot. That does pose an issue. We also have the packaging from the long yoghurts shown as I haven’t yet attempted to make my own yoghurt. I must admit I’m too afraid of making it and then the kids deciding they don’t like it! Let me know how you get on making your own x

  4. Reblogged this on Me, Hubby and Kids and commented:

    Today is day 2 of this year’s Zero Waste Week. The theme today is all about reducing waste. I wrote this post 4 years ago showing how I cut down on lunch box waste. Looking back now I can’t believe I wrapped her sandwiches in foil and bought pre packaged cheese! But just goes to show how little changes now can become lifetime habits. Hope you enjoy

  5. Pingback: Waste – Me, Hubby and Kids

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