Like many others, I often find myself feeling guilty about the amount of waste that gets thrown out of my house each day. This comes to life with my weekly food box delivery where all the packaging arrives at once. Food Boxes all come in quite large cardboard boxes with insulated linings, contain individually wrapped ingredients and often have additional recipe cards. Throwing all of this away is damaging to the environment so I wanted to look at the best ways to minimise your impact and get creative with your waste.
Food Boxes are often quite big, so they can actually have a variety of uses:
- Have a pet? Make it into a play area or bed for them to sleep in.
- Struggle with organising things? Use a few boxes to store your belongings neatly in a cupboard/loft.
- Moving house? These boxes are often really sturdy so make great boxes for moving house.
- Have kids? School projects always need creative arts material so keep a couple of boxes to make sure you’re ready to built that model rocket ship for their Science class.
- Feeling creative? There are loads of potential uses for a cardboard box for anyone with a bit of spare time.
If all of these seem like a bit too much effort, make sure that you always fold up your box and put it in your recycling bin. For more information on your local recycling options check out recyclingnearyou.com.au.
Some companies provide linings that are integrated with the cardboard box, however most will provide a separate insulated bag inside where they’ll store any meat/dairy foods.
These are perfect for use as a makeshift esky on your next camping trip or to keep tinnies cold at party you’re hosting this weekend. We also love the Macros suggestion of using it as a car windshield sunshade, brilliant for the summer months when you can’t find any shade to park your car under (we reviewed Macros here).
Almost all boxes will come with a couple of Ice Blocks that maintain a low temperature within your deliver box. I think it’s always worth keeping a few of these in the freezer for use in your above mentioned esky, or perfect wrapped in a tea towel to reduce joint pain/swelling. Better than using a bag of peas!
Some ice blocks have a strange gel inside rather than water. Make sure you check with each individual company but all the Major meal kit providers use a non-toxic gel that can be poured down the sink without issue. You can then recycle the plastic outer wrapping of the ice block.
Some companies have already moved to providing only digital recipes which I think is great for the environment. If you receive a recipe card, then you should keep hold of these and make a recipe book of your favourite recipes. One of the best things about a Meal Kit is learning how to cook exciting dishes, so save yourself the money on a new cookbook and make your own. If you end up with duplicate recipe cards, why not share these with friends and families so they can learn to expand their cooking horizons as well?
As much as possible, we need to reduce the 4.3 million tonnes of organic food waste that gets sent to landfill each year. Food Boxes are a fantastic start to solving this problem, making sure you receive exactly the right amounts of each ingredient. Whilst this instantly cuts down on a lot of food waste, it’s important to make sure that all of your meals get cooked. We have a few tips for that:
- Always cook fresh leafy vegetables and any dish with chicken in first – these are most likely to go ‘off’ quickly.
- Always store your ingredients as per instructions in the box.
- Most meals can be cooked and then stored in the fridge (or frozen) to give them a few more days shelf life, just needing a quick blast in the microwave.
- If you aren’t going to be home, make sure to pause your subscription for a week.
Following all the tips in this article will make sure that we’re all helping reduce the impact of our consumption habits on the environment. To end on a positive note, Food Boxes have proven to be more environmentally friendly than a trip to your local supermarket. Simply by switching to Food Boxes, you’re doing Mother Earth a favour!
Do you have any creative ways to reuse the packaging from your Food Boxes? Let me know in the comments below.