Eco friendly catering & packaging supplies, Eco-lifestyle products & Natural Home-wares

8 ways you can switch to eco food & drink packaging

Eco Food & Drink packaging options

Because food is SUCH a major part of all of our lives, it means that the way we handle it  is a major opportunity to really make some sustainable improvements to our lifestyle.

So - here's a round up of the 8 main ways we package our food and drinks, and lots of colourful ways you can switch over to eco food & drink packaging options for you and your family.

1. Reusable coffee / tea / hot drink cups

It's a no-brainer - help stop the endless flow of disposable coffee cups into our landfill and environment, by taking your re-usable coffee cup with you wherever you go.

Our favourites for our morning coffee are the ones that don't drip or leak - Cheeki and Frank Green.  The Cheeki non-drip coffee cup is really well insulated; after a couple of hours your drink will still be piping hot.  The Frank Green claim to fame is that their smart cups are embedded with a chip that allows you to use them with the CafePay system for pre-ordering coffee - and you can pay for your coffee with credits from the chip in your coffee cup!

There's a third option which is perfect for all the tea-drinkers out there, the Glass Tea-time tea flask.

frankgreen0544 Cheeki non-drip coffee cup Glass tea flask

2. Bio-coffee cups

Re-usable coffee cups will always be the most environmentally friendly option - but if you really have to have a disposable cup at the very least make sure it is the most environmentally friendly alternative you can find - the BioCup Coffee cup.

BioCup coffee cup BioCup disposable coffee cups Art Series biocup coffee cups

BioCup disposable coffee cups are made from FSC certified wood pulp with a very thin lining of 100% biodegradable and compostable PLA bioplastic, which makes them waterproof just like a conventional cup. They are Carbon Off-set from point of manufacture through to point of disposal, and are accepted into many standard council recycling systems across Australia - check this chart to see of your area accepts them.

SO much better that using polystyrene or even standard disposable coffee cups, which are lined with plastic and take many meany years to degrade.

3. Reusable water bottles and cups

There is no excuse now-a-days not to take your own drinking bottle with you; there are just so many great options out there.

Our only word of warning is - make sure whatever you purchase is stainless steel, glass or thick BPA free plastic....and not aluminium. Many of the super cheap bottles you see that look metal are in fact aluminum and will soon start corroding once you start using them.

A few great options are any of the Cheeki stainless steel water bottle range (with a bottle carrier to keep you hand free and also to keep the bottle upright, otherwise they can leak), the Frank Green water bottle which incorporates a charcoal filter to filter out any impurities in the water as you drink. It's a non-drip flask - fantastic.

If you're out and about, don't take plastic cups - invest in an indestructible set of EcoCocoon stainless steel picnic cups, each with a different etching so you know whose is whose :-). EcoSoul Life Bamboo cups are another alternative; beautifully designed, they are made from 100% bamboo so that if you happen to leave one behind in the bush, you can rest assured that it will eventually biodegrade back into plant matter. Feeling fancy? What about the Bamboo Goblets?

Frank Green filter bottle Cheeki stainless steel water bottles EcoCocoon stainless steel drink set
Bamboo picnic cups Bamboo goblet

4. Squeeze pouches for toddlers

Seems like a craze at the moment; squeeze pouches are very handy and kids love them - and it's perfectly possible to let your kids enjoy the convenience of them while avoiding the long term impact on the planet of all the non-recyclable conventional pouches on the market.

Again, there are a few great options out there and probably more will be invented over the years...two we love are Little Mashies, and My Squeeze. The Little Mashies are cheaper to purchase in bulk, but less robust in that it would be possible to lose the lid, whereas the My Squeeze lids are permanently attached to the body. They are both excellent products and one of the best things they offer is the ability to know exactly what is going into the food you are giving your little ones.

My Squeeze food pouches Little Mashies

5. Icy-pole moulds

Just like with the re-usable squeeze pouches, re-usable icy-pole moulds give you the assurance of knowing exactly what is in the iced treats you are giving your child. You can choose the Zipzicles ziplock icy-pole bags, or the much more sturdy Munch Silicone Icy-pole moulds; either way, they are re-usable.

Zipzicles ziplock bags for icy-poles Munch silicone icy-pole moulds

6. Stainless steel, re-usable lunchboxes and food thermoses

Lots of options here - Sustain-a-stacker lunch boxes (like Tiffins), UKonserve dividable boxes, adult size and kids size UKonserve food thermoses, Cheeki food thermoses, and smaller leak proof Kids Konserve condiment and snack containers.

UKonserve divided lunch box Sustain-a-stacker lunch box UKonserve kids food thermos
Cheeki food thermos Kids konserve leak proof containers

7. Soft lunch and snack packaging options

For all the things that don't necessarily need a hard container, there are plenty of great lightweight and flexible packaging options that you can simply stick in your pocket after you've eaten the contents. We love 4MyEarth snack pockets and sandwich wraps, UKonserve food cozy wraps, U Konserve food cozy bags, washable 4MyEarth food bags for nuts, crackers and fruit, unbleached paper sandwich and snack bags  (for a disposable option) and BeeKeep waxed food wraps. All of these options are re-usable, washable and mean that you can avoid using single use plastic.

4MyEarth snack pocket sandwich wraps UKonserve food cozy U Konserve food cozy bags
4MyEarth washable food bag unbleached paper sandwich bags BeeKeep waxed food wraps

8. Re-usable cutlery

Ok, you have your food, now what do you eat it with? What about a straw for your drink? Of course you could take regular kitchen cutlery with you and that's a great option. But for something a bit more light weight, you could try a Bamboo cutlery set (dishwasher safe), a two sided U Konserve Bamboo fork/spoon utensil, and perhaps a stainless steel drinking straw with its own cleaner to keep it squeaky clean inside. If you want a disposable option - or if there's a chance it will be lost, PSM biocutlery is a cost effective disposable option that can also be safely washed by hand or dishwasher and reused....so you are safe either way.

Bamboo cutlery set U Konserve two sided utencil Stainless steel drinking straws psm_cutlery

So that's our round up for now, of the 7 main ways we package our food and drinks and lots of bright and colourful, user friendly options for switching over to a re-usable, much more Eco-friendly alternative!

Got other suggestions? Let us know!

Written by Lucinda Flynn of Going Green Solutions

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