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An Eco-Friendly and Thrifty Alternative to Sandwich Bags


After crunching the numbers and finding between $130 – $200 worth of savings just by eating at home last month I am now even more inspired to diligently pack my lunch each week. Although I was initially motivated by monetary reasons alone, I now realize that our homemade lunches also help us live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Since we pack our lunches or eat at home, I no longer need to leave the office to pick up lunch, not only do I use less gas each week but I also spend less money on transportation costs. It’s a win-win for our wallets and the environment.

But since I started packing my lunch I’ve been bothered by the amount of trash I accumulate with sandwich baggies and saran wrap. A few weeks ago I picked up a copy of Gorgeously Green and I must admit that I’ve become a bit paranoid about our impact on the environment. I started carrying my sandwich in a Tupperware container to avoid the extra plastic wrap, but the box is bulky and takes up quite a bit of room in my tiny little lunch bag.

After trying a number of different sized containers I ultimately resorted back to using sandwich bags. (I know I could buy a larger lunch bag to correct the problem, but I really like my current one.) Last week the universe must have known I was searching for an alternative, because while I was reading Body + Soul magazine I came across a blurb about the Wrap-N-Mat. I haven’t tried the Wrap-N-Mat out yet, but it appears to be a simple cloth material on one side and a phthalate free plastic on the other. According to the website you place your sandwich in the middle of the Wrap-N-Mat and then wrap the material around it, sealing it shut with a small tab of Velcro. The sandwich stays neatly wrapped and doesn’t take up any more space than tinfoil or saran wrap.

The wraps cost between $5.99 and $7.99, which seems a bit pricey, but a few boxes of sandwich baggies over the months could easily amount to that.

spikedcandy

Thursday 3rd of September 2009

Thanks so much for this post. I was looking for an alternative too, and this looks great :).

One Frugal Girl

Friday 13th of March 2009

I'm not a big fan of reusing baggies. I'll reuse baggies that have pretzels, chips, or crackers in them, but I don't like reusing them when I carry deli meat or chicken and I'm not such a big fan of carrying fruits or vegetables either. I'm always worried about forgetting which baggie contained what and cross-contaminating them.

The Shopping Sherpa

Wednesday 11th of March 2009

Do you use sandwich bags or sandwich sized zip lock bags? I use the later and take them home, rinse them out and leave them to dry (upside down on a paper towel holder I no longer use since I banned paper towels) before tucking them away to reuse. Again. And again. And again. Until they finally fall apart ages later...

Fit Wallet

Wednesday 11th of March 2009

That's a great idea! I try to save and reuse sandwich baggies for dry stuff like pretzels, crackers, etc. But it does add up, and I feel so wasteful throwing away so much plastic. This could be a potential solution, though probably not for something like baby carrots. Hmmm, I'll have to give it some thought...