ReConsumerEYES: Reusing Food Packaging/Lunch

By: Lorne Holden Last year when I was visiting my parents, I saw a shopping list on their kitchen counter. It was written on the triangle of cardboard that you pull out of a Kleenex box in order to get to the tissues. When I asked my Dad about it, he pointed out that my Mother goes through about three boxes of tissues a day, and as such, they have tons these triangles of cardboard in their house. Why not put this cardboard to use?

I became a devotee of my Dad's idea and am now hooked on breaking up the small cardboard boxes that package our groceries. I keep a pile of cardboard pieces on top of my fridge and always use one when I need to make any kind of list. It may seem like a small idea but as we know, even the smallest actions do add up.

cardboard listmakers

This got me thinking: where else can I re-use my packaging? Here are some ideas I've discovered: The long plastic bags that package bread and rice cakes are perfect for storing leeks and scallions.

Leeks in bags

Cans can be reused to store pencils, art supplies, nuts, bolts, screws and hardware of all kinds. Dress 'em up! Take the labels off and cover them with great looking paper.

Cans with Covers 2

  • Glass jars, like the ones that house pickle and tomato sauce, can be used to store your grains or your leftovers. Smaller jars can be used to store sauces and condiments in the fridge. Use Mason jars as drinking glasses.
  • Use a soft cotton cloth to wrap up a sandwich for your child's lunchbox. You'll want to be sure that the sandwich will be eaten within a few hours. Note: be sure to add a cooling element to the lunchbox to prevent spoilage. This can be anything from a little bag of ice cubes to one of the many simple items available in grocery stores today.
  • Vow to use your plastic lunch containers again and again. I find these things often go missing with the same frequency as socks in the dryer. Keep and eye on them so they can be used for a good long while.

Finally, don't miss this great tutorial about how to make a gift box out of a cereal box. It's a winner!

Jav cutting cereal box

Looking at what might seem like trash with fresh, inviting eyes can often inspire a creative adventure. Re-use before you recycle. Every act makes a difference.

shopping list

Lorne Holden is an artist and author of the Amazon Bestseller “MAKE IT HAPPEN in Ten Minutes a Day/The Simple, Lifesaving Method for Getting Things Done.” Her online coaching course “LifeBloom” will start again on November 17. Click here to learn more about it and then sign up for this great experience!.