Ms Betterhome

Food wraps & containers – the good, the bad & re-useable
October 22, 2009, 4:50 am
Filed under: enviro, learning | Tags: ,

I take lunch to work everyday, & tend to use either your classic faux tupperware lunchbox, or a recycled takeaway container. I also have a microwavable food thermos (though I think it’s actually Aladdin brand). On the rare occasion I take a sandwich, I use a wrap-n-mat sandwich wrapper. It adjusts to the size of the sandwich, so it’s very functional, but alas, it’s covered in cheery ‘eco-print’ that could be interpreted either as smug or nagging (or both if I’m in a bad mood).

I was considering making re-usable lunch wraps as Xmas gifts for a few select loved ones, using this very practical tutorial. I figured it would a) help me practice on the sewing machine without getting out of my depth, and b) be useful & appreciated by most people I know. I balked, though, at the idea of buying special fabric – I’d really like to re-use something that already exists, rather than buy something new, even if it is ‘green’. In fact, this is why I am planning to use my current plastic lunchboxes until they crumble & die, rather than replace them with metal. Yes, there are concerns about the food safety of some plastics, but given that it’s only my already tox-ed up body I’m putting the food into, I’ll take the chance. My lunchboxes will be landfill eventually – but I’d rather use them up before they get to that stage.

One thing I would like to stop using completely is clingwrap. When I was growing up my grandma and mum treated it like a luxury item – we often had a sheet stuck to our fridge door, waiting to be re-used. My sandwiches were wrapped in waxed paper, and generally my lunch was packed in a recycled bag from the fruit shop (which were made of brown paper in the dawn of time aka the ‘70s).

I was interested to read this discussion of alternatives to plastic bags & lunchboxes – particularly the observations re foil & parchment paper (which I use about once a week). Apparently it’s impregnated with silicon, which is news to me. While I have great fondness for silicon in sex-toys, I’m not sure about it in terms of sustainability – more research needed there.

Bread and Jam for Frances

One poster, libraryhead, brought back memories of one of my fave childhood stories, Bread and Jam for Frances, by Russell & Lillian Hoban, “which has a fabulous description of a packed lunch circa the early 60s. The kids opened up their lunch boxes to reveal cloth napkins, vases of violets, cardboard shakers of salt, and many little wax paper packages containing hard-boiled eggs, celery, grapes, sandwiches, and a “cup custard,” whatever that is! Except for Frances, who only likes to eat bread and jam”.

Since I haven’t quite nutted through my lunchwrap dilemma, I think I’ll make a trip to Reverse Garbage on the weekend, & see whether they have fabric that would at least be suitable for making a prototype water-bottle carrybag, or something similar.


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