People that know me personally may or may not know that I'm a treehugger. I, in fact, didn't really even realize it until a few years ago. I'm pretty sure some of my close friends knew this about me very early on, but it's not something I really thought about before.
Being green or eco-friendly is not something I necessarily push in other people's faces, but I am more than eager to share if they ask. One of the areas people often notice is my lunch.
I pack my lunch usually 4 out of 5 days a week. Doing this, I try to minimize the amount of packaging and disposable products I use. None is my goal, but there's usually something that gets tossed. (Someday I will find a way to set up a compost bin at work, but I'm already recycling for the whole facility, finding a place for compost in the winter is a little more than I can handle right now I think. Plus, compost tends to gross people out, I'll have to approach it gently :)
To help in these endeavors, I have purchased a few things, including a lunch box and reusable stainless steel mug from www.reusablebags.com. This is one of my favorite sites! I also received as a gift from my mom some wonderful sandwich wraps. These function as a placemat when opened and clean up very easily. They are also very easy to make. I haven't done it myself yet, but want to, maybe for next year's Christmas exchange...hmmm.
I also use real cutlery. I have a spoon, fork and knife that I got at World Market about 7 years ago that are still going strong. (They're even navy and match my bag!) I have cloth napkins in my lunch bag. I keep a plate and soup mug/bowl at my desk, for whenever the need arises. Birthday cake in the lunchroom? I don't use the styrofoam plates and plastic silverware, I bring my plate and fork.
I also buy in bulk and make my own snack packs. I do use plastic containers, but they are reusable and washable and definietely better than not reusing anything. I just don't trust myself with glass! I have purchased a stainless steel food container and thermos for my husband as well. He doesn't have access to a microwave to warm food, so this works great for him. (Unfortunately, I think his thermos has been discontinued). The food container is perfect for heating up soup or chili in the morning and having it piping hot for lunch! These containers will keep food warm for up to 5 hours. And the thermos will keep coffee hot or water cold for hours and hours and hours...sometimes a day or two!
I make my own pudding and jello snacks and use small bowls or ziploc containers to keep them and even package chips and crackers in containers. No plastic bag to toss and no crushed chips!
I do have my vices. I love Diet Dr. Pepper. But I religiously recycle either the 2-liter bottle or cans, I swear. I also bring individual yogurt containers to work and throw them away. I would keep them until I can get them to be recycled into Preserve products, but my Hubby already says I'm a garbage collector. And I could by large containers of yogurt, then reuse them for something else. Unfortunately, I only like berry flavored yogurt, and not the kind with chunks in it. I'm trying though, I am. I bought a big container, thinking I could make myself like vanilla, it was even organic! But I ended up throwing almost half of it away, I just didn't eat it all. I need to keep trying. It's definitely on my list!
I would be happy to answer any questions about this. It's one of my passions and I love it!