10 Tips To Ditch The Plastic In Your Life

Plastic Bottles shutterstock_696170941

Light, versatile, durable and easily manufactured, plastic is seen as a super practical material. It has gained  so much popularity that you can find it everywhere, from the polyester in the clothes we wear to the microbeads in our skincare.

Over the years we have become addicted to the convenience of plastic, and little by little insidious plastic waste has taken over cities, countryside and oceans. The problem has reached such proportions, that it is now estimated that eight million tonnes of waste plastic ends up in the sea each year.

The infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch (a collection on non biodegrable debris) is a chilling reminder that our addiction to plastic has gone too far.

What’s more is that fish, shelfish and marine wildlife feed on this waste so humans who eat seafood ingest 11,000 pieces of microplastic each year. Additionally it is estimated that by 2050 there could be more plastic than fish in the oceans.

The good news is that by making simple changes in our daily lives we can all help reducing plastic pollution.

10 Tips To Ditch The Plastic In Your Life

 

Refill – Forget plastic water bottles, or disposable coffee and tea cups. Switch to a refillable water bottle or insulated refillable cups to keep hydrated throughout the day without generating huge amount of waste. You will also save money as coffee shops charge less for refilling customers’ cups while tap water is of course much better value than bottled water.

Shop At Your Local Farmers Market – you only have to walk the aisles of your local supermarket to realise that food packaging has gone completely mad. Plastic is convenient to wrap fruits and vegetables as you can more easily add a barcode on top of it. Shop at your local farmers market instead using reusable or paper bags.

Ditch The Straw – there is little advantage to drinking with a straw really, unless maybe you are unwell and stranded in bed. Plastic straws end up floating in the ocean and represent a real danger to wildlife (check out the video below showing the fate of a sea turtle). If you have to use straws, switch to a paper straw or a reusable metal straw.

Pack Your Lunch – forget individually packed sandwich, salad, fruit or yoghurt. Buying your lunch is wasteful and (once again) expensive. Cut down on plastic waste by bringing your own food in stainless steel or glass lunchboxes . It will be cheaper and healthier too! Take it a step further in restaurants by bringing in your own containers for leftovers.

Buy Loose – buy cereals, grain, pulses etc… in bulk and store them at home in glass containers. You can even bring your own containers in shops such as Planet Organic to refill.

Switch to Reusable Produce Bags– say goodbye to fruits and vegetables plastic bags by using reusable produce bags. Washable and reusable some can also be used as laundry wash bags or cosmetic bags!

And Reusable Shopping Bags  – the plastic bag tax has been brilliant at reducing plastic bag usage. Still there are occasions when you simply forget your reusable bags and end up buying plastic instead. I always keep one of these Envirosax below in my handbag, car or pocket to avoid being caught out. They quite comfortably hold two to three plastic grocery bags and have been tested to hold at least 20kgs – 44 lbs. Once folded they hold in the palm of your hand.

 

 

Get Your Milk Delivered In Returnable Glass Bottles – take a look around on bin collection days and you’ll quickly notice that plastic milk bottles make up for a lot of packaging waste. Sign up for milk delivery and get your milk delivered in reusable glass bottles instead.

Beware Of Food Containers & Trays – take away and frozen food is often packaged in plastic or polystyrene. When shopping for convenience food, make a point of choosing products packaged in paper only.

Wear Natural Fibrepolyester fabric is another big ocean polluter resulting in microplastics entering our food chain. Choose natural fibre such as cotton instead.

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Lunch Ideas For The Lunchbots Bento

The Lunchbots Bento is the ultimate lunchbox. Made of stainless steel and 60% larger than Lunchbots‘ classic containers it is ideal for a large sandwich or salad, a sushi combo, veggie burrito, or other favourite meals to go. Refill it over and over, save money and add zero waste to landfills.

LunchBots Bento Stainless Container  - Trio

Only food grade stainless steel comes into contact with your food.  There are no linings and no toxins.

The Lunchbots Bento is suited for larger appetites and available in different combinations: Bento – UnoBento – Duo or Bento – Trio. The compartments enable you to mix and match your lunch options. For children and smaller appetites we recommend Lunchbots‘ classic containers.

LunchBots Bento Stainless Container  - Duo

The Lunchbots Bento is best for dry foods. If you want to add a soup, stew etc.. we recommend the Lunchbots Insulated Jars which have a water tight lid.

Lunchbots Insulated Food Container - Dark Blue

Here are some healthy lunch ideas:

Rainbow Salad Wrap by Jamie Oliver [vegetarian]
Carrot & Houmous Roll-Ups by BBC Good Food [vegan]
Curried Quinoa Wrap by Lunchbox Bunch [vegan]
Creamy Greek Salad Wrap by Kitchen Treaty [vegetarian]
Cool Refried Bean Wrap by Veg Kitchen [vegan]
Rainbows and Butterflies Pasta Salad by Food Network [flexitarian]
Tortellini with Pesto & Broccoli by BBC Good Food [flexitarian]
Broccoli Lemon Pasta by Marin Mama Cooks [flexitarian]
Vegetable Pasta in Tomato Basil Sauce by Archana’s Kitchen [vegetarian]
Macaroni Slice by Good Food [flexitarian]
Sweet Lentil Salad & Green by Love & Lentils [vegan]
Lebanese Lemon Parsley Bean Salad by Cookie & Kate [vegan]
Zesty Black-Eyes-Pea Salad by A Dash of Soul [vegan]
Veggie Chilli by Jamie Oliver [vegan]
Vegetable Stew by Woman’s Weekly [vegan]
Green Club Sandwich by BBC Good Food [vegan]
Mediterranean Sandwich by The Flexitarian [vegan]
No-Chicken Coronation Sandwich [vegan]
Better-than-Tuna Salad Sandwich by The Fig Tree [vegetarian]
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Avocado, & Feta Sandwich by Tow Peas & Their Pod [vegetarian]
Lunch Box Quinoa Salad with Veggies by MOMables [vegan]
Tangy Couscous Salad by BBC Good Food [vegetarian]
Three Grain Grilled Vegetable and Feta Salad by Naturally Ella [vegetarian]
Root Vegetable and Cauliflower Tagine by Food & Wine [vegetarian]
Asian Quinoa Salad by Two Peas and Their Pod [vegan]
Classic Hummus, with variations by VegKitchen [vegan]
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus by BBC Food [vegan]
Three Easy Dips for Kids by BBC Food [vegan]
Broccoli Dip by Real Simple [vegetarian]

 

{NEW} LunchBots’ Stainless Steel Lunch Containers

lunchbot offer June23rd

LunchBots
‘ range of stainless steel containers provides a great choice of waste free lunch boxes, bento boxes and insulated food jars suitable for both kids and adults.

Safe, durable, reusable and recyclable. Not only do LunchBots‘ stainless steel food containers meet these high standards, they also simply look great, make lunch more fun, and food more appetising.

Founded in 2008, LunchBots is a family-owned business with a simple mission: to provide the highest quality, best-looking, healthiest food containers on the planet.

Recent disturbing news about toxic chemicals—such as BPA and phthalates—leaching into food stored in plastic is good reason to search for alternative materials for packing lunches. One excellent choice is food containers made of stainless steel, an alloy composed of natural elements. Inert and sanitary, stainless steel poses no health risks, is widely used in the food industry, and will not impart peculiar tastes or smells to your food.

Rest assured that when you pack your food in a LunchBots’ container, only the highest quality, food-grade 18/8 stainless steel comes into contact with your food. No linings. No toxins.

Choose from:

  • Uno, Duo, Trio Classic Containers:  for dry foods and snacks made completely from stainless steel—even the lids. Choose from one to three sections, or mix and match for a fun meal on-the-go. Perfect for kids’ packed lunch.
  • Uno, Duo, Trio Bento Containers: 60% larger than the Classic Containers they are perfect for adults or larger appetite. Best suited for dry foods and snacks made completely from stainless steel—even the lids. Choose from one to three sections, or mix and match for a fun meal on-the-go.
  • Insulated Food Jars: Pack soups, yogurt, stews, and pasta in these Thermal insulated containers, which are leak-proof and will keep food hot or cold for up to 5 hours.

Don’t miss our launch offer of 10% savings for orders placed before June 23rd (See details above)

 

Keep Leaf – New Plane Design

keep leaf plane design
We love this brand new Plane design from Keep Leaf. Available as an Insulated Lunch Bag and matching Reusable Sandwich Bag.

Keep Leaf Reusable Sandwich Bags are the ideal alternative to disposable plastic baggies and wraps. They are made from 100% cotton exterior with waterproof liner to help keep food fresh for longer. Easy and secure velcro closure. Ideal for sandwiches, snacks and most food items.

The insulated lunch bags are made from high quality, thick organic cotton canvas and are the perfect antidote to the many cartoon character lunch bags on the market!

A wide range of prints is available to suit both adults and kids.

Click here to view our Keep Leaf range

Go Waste Free With U•Konserve & Kids Konserve

U•Konserve & Kids Konserve waste-free lunch packing and food storage products were a natural outgrowth of what two women saw as a critical need that required immediate attention. With the premise that any business they undertook had to help the environment in some way, it didn’t take much imagination to see how they, as parents of young children, were contributing to garbage landfills, pollutants and sending the wrong message to their own children. How could they set an example of conservation for their children and empower them to be examples of change for the future?

Calculating the amount of lunch trash being produced each day at their own schools shocked them enough to begin more research into reusable products that would dramatically cut down on our Earth’s ever-growing garbage pile. Focusing on how school lunch programs operate opened their eyes and propelled them to create U•Konserve & Kids Konserve.

U•Konserve & Kids Konserve‘s products are unique:

  • Reusable and Waste-Free –  designed to reduce the staggering amount of trash that ends up in our landfills and oceans every year because of food packing.
  • Sustainable Design – use high-quality, non-toxic materials designed to be durable and long lasting, and to minimize waste throughout each product’s life cycle.
  • Non-Toxic and Non-Leaching – tested by independent labs to meet strict safety standards, all of our products are free of BPA, phthalates, PVC and lead.
  • Recycled Materials – they only use recycled cotton, and all of the insulated fabrics are made from recycled plastic bottles.
  • Functional and Practical – products are designed for kids and adults, ideal for lunches, travel, picnics, takeout, salad bars, refrigerator storage and more! They’re leak-proof, easy to clean, and easy to pack and store.

View full ranges of U•Konserve & Kids Konserve.

U Konserve: Go Waste Free At Work

u konserve

Just in some stylish new additions from U Konserve including: an Insulated Food Jar with matching Aubergine Nesting Trio Containers and a Stainless Steel Insulated Coffee Cup.

U Konserve is a range of waste-free and reusable lunch packing for work, travel and life. It is made by the people behind Kids Konserve and uses the same great fabrics (including Petspun #1 made from recycled plastic bottles and recycled cotton) and high quality #304 (18/8) food-grade stainless steel. However this time the range is aimed at adults and is ideal for packing a healthier, waste-free lunch for work and travel.

Non-Toxic: The complete range is made from the safest, non-leaching, non-toxic, BPA, PVC, phthalate, and lead-free materials – a mouthful, but true! Lead, BPA, PVC, and phthalates are substances that are known to be harmful to our bodies with repeated exposure.

Stainless Steel: They offer 304 food grade stainless steel solutions as it is proven to be the safest material to house food in.

Design: Their products are what they call ‘eco-chic’, and are graphically appealing to kids and adults alike.

Healthy Lunch Boxes with Kids Konserve

kids konserve

Kids’ packed lunches have never looked so healthy with Kids Konserve‘s range of stainless steel jars and containers.

All Kids Konserve‘s products make a perfect solution for a waste free packed lunch solution. All products are free of BPA, phthalates, PVC and lead! Containers are made of 18/8 food-grade stainless steel. Lids are made of recyclable non-toxic LDPE #4 plastic.

The range includes an Insulated Food JarMagenta Small Round ContainersMud Small Round ContainersOcean Nesting Trio Containers and Sky Nesting Trio Containers.

Kids Konserve‘s products are ideal to help you:

  • Reduce Waste by eliminating disposable food packaging from our landfills and oceans
  • Save Money by reducing single-use packaging, and packaged foods
  • Eat Healthier by packing homemade, non-packaged foods
  • Store Safer by packing food in non-leaching, non-toxic containers

Kids Konserve waste-free and reusable lunch-packing and food-storage solutions were a natural outgrowth of what its founders saw as a critical need that required immediate attention. Calculating the amount of lunch trash being produced each day at their own schools shocked them enough to begin more research into reusable products that would dramatically cut down on our Earth’s ever-growing garbage pile. Focusing on how school lunch programs operate opened their eyes and propelled them to create Kids Konserve.

Stainless Steel Insulated Coffee Cup – U Konserve

Stainless Steel Insulated Coffee CupA stylish alternative to disposable paper cups, this 16-oz insulated stainless steel coffee cup from U-Konserve keeps coffee and tea hot, and iced drinks chilled, for hours!

The food-grade silicone lid is a healthy alternative to plastic for covering hot beverages, and is very durable and heat-resistant.

Now you can feel better about those daily trips to get your caffeine fix! Also works well for taking drinks from home.

Dimensions: 17.5cm tall x 10cm diameter.

Free of BPA, phthalates, PVC and lead.

U Konserve‘ offers practical waste free lunch solutions. Very few ‘lunch kit’ products are designed for adults or have any sort of style about them. But U Konserve‘s range is different with high quality, practical products with a definite fashion edge.

Green Living – Go Waste Free With U Konserve

U Konserve Waste Free Lunches

Reducing waste is an extremely important challenge in today’s world.

U-Konserve raises up to the challenge with a range of waste free lunch solutions for adults which are also ideal for lunches, picnics, travel and left overs.

The U-Konserve range is made by the people behind Kids Konserve and uses the same great fabrics (including Petspun #1 made from recycled plastic bottles and recycled cotton) and high quality #304 (18/8) food-grade stainless steel.

Both U-Konserve and Kids Konserve set themselves apart from other waste-free lunch systems in a number of ways:

Non-Toxic: The complete range is made from the safest, non-leaching, non-toxic, BPA, PVC, phthalate, and lead-free materials – a mouthful, but true! Lead, BPA, PVC, and phthalates are substances that are known to be harmful to our bodies with repeated exposure.

Stainless Steel: They offer a wide range of 304 food grade stainless steel solutions as it is proven to be the safest material to house food in.

Product Line: Their products are what they call ‘eco-chic’, and are graphically appealing to kids and adults alike. The Kids Konserve range is designed to be fun, stylish, and easy for kids to use, while offering maximum convenience and flexibility for parents – all with the underlying aim of creating a Zero Waste Lunch. U-Konserve is designed for adults.

Their Ethics

Kids Konserve was founded on the belief that we can affect our environment and health by the choices we make as consumers. To that end, they not only provide a range of products that embraces this philosophy, but also strive to impart the values of sustainability and health into the way they run their business.

They offer non-toxic, safe products that undergo strict quality control and are tested by a CPSIA-accredited lab. The Consumer Public Safety Information Act (CPSIA) was signed into law in August 2008. The law expands the role of the U.S. Consumer Public Safety Commission (CPSC) and institutes new testing and documentation requirements. The law increases the restrictions on acceptable levels of lead and phthalates, particularly in children’s products. Kids Konserve exceeds CPSIA standards, as all products are lead-free and phthalate-free.

They offer high-quality, long-lasting products that promote sustainability and health, and inherently strive to reduce the millions of tons of waste associated with single-serving packaged foods and plastic bottles. They strive to use recycled materials as much as possible, and many of their products are recyclable.

They offer products that are responsibly made in China, India and Taiwan in facilities that are working toward green practices, and are supportive of their mission to reduce waste. Independent agencies audit the working conditions and environmental impact to ensure that the facilities adhere to fair and safe labour practices and environmental standards.

All their products meet the standards of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA is responsible for ensuring safety of all food packaging and food contact substances. Through the Centre for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), the FDA regulates food contact materials to ensure they are safe for intended use.

U-Konserve and Kids Konserve are not only great to help you go waste free but they also help you save money when compared with store bought individual lunch supplies.

 

 

Global Food Crisis – 50% of All Food Produced In The World Ends Up As Waste

IMechE+Food+Report+Cover-web

Global Food – Waste Not Want Not

Feeding the 9 Billion: The tragedy of waste.

Findings in a new report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers highlights that as much as 2 billion tonnes of all food produced ends up as waste

Institution of Mechanical Engineers calls on urgent action to prevent 50% of all food produced in the world ending up as waste

A new report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers has found that as much as 50% of all food produced around the world never reaches a human stomach due to issues as varied as inadequate infrastructure and storage facilities through to overly strict sell-by dates, buy-one-get-one free offers and consumers demanding cosmetically perfect food.

With UN predictions that there could be about an extra three billion people to feed by the end of the century and an increasing pressure on the resources needed to produce food, including land, water and energy, the Institution is calling for urgent action to tackle this waste.

The report Global Food; Waste Not,Want Not found that:

  • between 30% and 50% or 1.2-2 billion tonnes of food produced around the world each year never reaches a human stomach;
  • as much as 30% of UK vegetable crops are not harvested due to them failing to meet exacting standards based on their physical appearance, while up to half of the food that’s bought in Europe and the USA is thrown away by the consumer;
  • about 550 billion m3 of water is wasted globally in growing crops that never reach the consumer;
  • it takes 20-50 times the amount of water to produce 1 kilogram of meat than 1 kilogram of vegetables;
  • the demand for water in food production could reach 10–13 trillion m3 a year by 2050. This is 2.5 to 3.5 times greater than the total human use of fresh water today and could lead to more dangerous water shortages around the world;
  • there is the potential to provide 60-100% more food by eliminating losses and waste while at the same time freeing up land, energy and water resources.

Dr Tim Fox, Head of Energy and Environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers said:

“The amount of food wasted and lost around the world is staggering. This is food that could be used to feed the world’s growing population – as well as those in hunger today. It is also an unnecessary waste of the land, water and energy resources that were used in the production, processing and distribution of this food.

“The reasons for this situation range from poor engineering and agricultural practices, inadequate transport and storage infrastructure through to supermarkets demanding cosmetically perfect foodstuffs and encouraging consumers to overbuy through buy-one-get-one free offers.

“As water, land and energy resources come under increasing pressure from competing human demands, engineers have a crucial role to play in preventing food loss and waste by developing more efficient ways of growing, transporting and storing foods.

“But in order for this to happen Governments, development agencies and organisation like the UN must work together to help change people’s mindsets on waste and discourage wasteful practices by farmers, food producers, supermarkets and consumers.”

By 2075 the UN predicts that the world’s population is set to reach around 9.5 billion, which could mean an extra three billion mouths to feed. A key issue to dealing with this population growth is how to produce more food in a world with resources under competing pressures – particularly given the added stresses caused by global warming and the increasing popularity of eating meat – which requires around 10 times the land resources of food like rice or potatoes.

The world produces about four billion metric tonnes of food per year, but wastes up to half of this food through poor practices and inadequate infrastructure. By improving processes and infrastructure as well as changing consumer mindsets, we would have the ability to provide 60-100% more food to feed the world’s growing population.

The ‘Global Food; Waste Not,Want Not’ report recommends that:

  1. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) works with the international engineering community to ensure governments of developed nations put in place programmes that transfer engineering knowledge, design know-how, and suitable technology to newly developing countries. This will help improve produce handling in the harvest, and immediate post-harvest stages of food production.
  2. Governments of rapidly developing countries incorporate waste minimisation thinking into the transport infrastructure and storage facilities currently being planned, engineered and built.
  3. Governments in developed nations devise and implement policy that changes consumer expectations. These should discourage retailers from wasteful practices that lead to the rejection of food on the basis of cosmetic characteristics, and losses in the home due to excessive purchasing by consumers.

Click here to read the report

For ways to reduce your food waste, visit the website Love Food Hate Waste

Reusable Sandwich Bags

Reusable Sandwich Bags - Fruits  Reusable Sandwich Bags - Stripe

We have two new designs available in Keep Leaf  Baggies Reusable Sanwich Bags, the perfect alternative  to  disposable  plastic  baggies and wrap.

A colourful apples and pears design and a unisex stripe design both style make these Reusable Sanwich Bags a great addition to any lunch bag.

Made from 100% cotton exterior with waterproof liner to help keep food fresh for longer. Easy and secure velcro closure.

Ideal for sandwiches, snacks and most food items.

Lead, Phthalates and BPA free.

Additional styles from Keep Leaf  Reusable Sanwich Bags include Birds, Floral, Camo and Black and White which will suit adults and children alike.