Pandora’s (Lunch) Box – Reuse lunch boxes to save plastic waste

Have we opened Pandora’s Box in terms of plastics? Can we close it again?

Noelle Pisacano offers us a glimpse into her new blog, her childhood inspiration and how an insulated, reusable lunchbox and pasta e fajioli can change the world.

Thinking back to the early 2000’s when I would unzip my backpack once I got to school, in it I’d see an insulated, reusable lunchbox filled with a sliced orange wrapped in a reusable sandwich mat, a reusable BPA free water bottle, and a reusable metal thermos filled with pasta e fajioli. As I looked around in the cafeteria, all of my friends were carrying grocery plastic bags and inside them were plastic sandwich bags with a smashed peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a bag of chips, and a plastic water bottle. As we would run outside to play after eating, I felt like I stood out because I was one of the only kids who had a lunchbox to carry out to recess. When I asked my parents why it was so important for me to be using reusable products, they’d simply reply, “We are just thinking of your future, kid”. And go figure, like always, my parents were right.

Photo credit: Noelle Pisacano

“I felt like I stood out because I was one of the only kids who had a lunchbox to carry out to recess.”

Being exposed to these values early on helped solidify my initiative to live plastic-free and eventually work towards a zero-waste lifestyle.  Once I decided I was going to go plastic-free, I began to recognize how much plastic I was actually using on a daily basis. Ranging from toiletries, food products, and online shopping packages, I was ashamed of the amount of plastic waste I was contributing to the overwhelming problem our planet is facing. In order to start somewhere, I stopped purchasing plastic products and used up the rest of the plastic products I already had. Realizing how much of the products I used were plastic, I knew that I truly had my work cut out in order to find alternatives to my wasteful lifestyle. I became more cognizant of my waste production, doing small things hoping that they will eventually add up to a bigger contribution in taking care of our Earth.

“Being exposed to these values early on helped solidify my initiative to live plastic free and eventually work towards a zero-waste lifestyle.”

        In order for a goal like this to be achievable and not too hard to reach, small steps need to be taken as I worked out my new plastic-free lifestyle. Pledging to not purchase plastic products and to stop using all single-use plastic such as plastic wrap, straws, plastic bags, sandwich bags, is a good place to begin. While moving towards a plastic-free lifestyle with these steps, it is a smart idea to educate oneself about the impact being made and all of the alternative plastic-free products that can be purchased for use in place of plastic products. One would be surprised how good it feels knowing these efforts are benefitting mother nature, especially when the adjustments being made are simpler than initially anticipated.

“For me, first hand exposure to plastic waste scattered throughout ecosystems where it doesn’t belong, especially while scuba diving and hiking, truly motivated me to make this change. “

For me, first-hand exposure to plastic waste scattered throughout ecosystems where it doesn’t belong, especially while scuba diving and hiking, truly motivated me to make this change. Finding something that acts as a motivator to stay driven to living a plastic-free life is important for this change. We are already seeing the significant detrimental effects our mistreatment of the environment is having. A lifestyle change like this may seem inconvenient at first, yet we should already be treating our Earth with nothing, but love, care, and respect. After all, it is our home and our responsibility as humans on this planet to treat it right, so that our future, and the generations to come can live on a cleaner and greener planet Earth. Go plastic free so you won’t be the kid with a smashed peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The Earth will most definitely thank you.

My blog, ‘My Green Genes at Work’, will be up by the beginning of April, so once April 1st rolls around if you want tips, tricks, and my experience on living a sustainable and plastic-free life, check out my webpage at pisacanon.wixsite.com/mygreengenesatwork . You can also catch Noelle’s latest thoughts  on plastic-free living on Twitter @npisacan

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