Compare a typical wasteful lunch at $4.02 per day with a waste-free lunch at just $2.65 a day. That’s an annual difference of $246.60 per school year for each child. That adds up quickly, especially if you have more than one child!


The cost of raising a child is intimidating enough without throwing away hundreds of dollars a year on wasteful lunches. Here are some tips to get your budget and you child’s health back on track:


  • Put sandwiches and other main dishes, fresh fruits and vegetables, and treats in reusable lunch containers. Use cloth napkins, stainless-steel forks and spoons, reusable drink containers and reusable lunchboxes. Label your containers and utensils so they come back home each day.

  • Pack lunches the night before. This gives you more time than the morning rush to put together a nutritious lunch and even dart out to the store if you’re low on food. It also means that you can pack dinner’s leftovers right into reusable containers for the kids. You are more inclined to take the time to cut up fruit and veggies for lunches then than when you’re tired and stressed in the morning.

  • Ask teachers to send home any leftovers for your child to finish after school as a snack. This also helps you gauge what worked and what didn’t for lunch that day.

  • Buy in bulk. There’s no need for individual-size portions if you have large yoghurts, apple sauce, granola and other food on hand to spoon into well-sealed Tupperware. Save the containers your yoghurt and other items come in to use for storing food or craft items.

  • baking.jpgMake it yourself. Why buy expensive, processed, high-fat treats for your child when you can make cookies, rice krispie treats, pudding and Jello with fruit inside? Yes, it takes a bit more time but kids love to help you cook, so this can count as a fun family activity, or can bake while you’re making dinner. Let’s face it, most of us chill out each night in front of the TV or computer. It’s much more satisfying to relax while baking.

  • Mix it up. Keep on hand a good mixture of breads (bagels, English muffins, focaccia, pita, pizza crust), spreads and condiments (almond butter, low-fat cream cheese, goat cheese, hummus, pizza sauce), fillings (shredded carrots, chicken salad, egg salad, sliced avocado), and fruits and vegetables to avoid the PB&J rut. Dried fruit, trail mix, yogurt or jelly with fruit, homemade cookies and baked chips with salsa all make great treats.

  • Pack your own lunches too. While kids’ wasteful lunches are expensive, adults’ ones are even worse. It’s lucky if you can walk away from a restaurant for less than $25 or a shop for less than $10. That can add up quickly to the equivalent of the cost of your dream family vacation.

  • Talk to your children about what you’re doing. Teach your kids about recycling (tin, aluminum and glass) and follow up the talk with a field trip to our new recycling centre to see what happens to recyclables. Explain to them how Bermuda’s garbage is incinerated and consider the byproducts of this process – particulates in our air, carbon emissions in the environment. When out shopping, talk to your kids about the packaging each product comes in and what is going to happen to that packaging when you get home. Do they want to be responsible for creating this waste in Bermuda? Read out the labels of the treats they want at the store. Do they know what hydrogenated oil is? Do they really want to eat it? Or perhaps you can make those treats together and skip all those unpronounceable additives and preservatives.

  • Start a compost heap in your yard. Works and Engineering Waste Management section sells affordable, high-quality compost bins with easy-to-follow instructions for composting your biodegradable waste from your food and yard. Compost is the cheapest, most nutrient-rich soil you can find for your landscaping and gardening needs. Tea bags, crushed egg shells, coffee grounds and fruit skins all make wonderful compost. Just set up a sealable container next to your garbage to divert your waste to the compost.

  • Start a garden with your kids. You don’t need a lot of space to do this fun family activity. Herbs, tomatoes, strawberries and a host of other fruits and vegetables all do extremely well in containers, as long as you water them regularly and refresh the soil with nutrients such as those from composted soil. There are free seminars on how to compost and container garden offered regularly at local nurseries.

For more information on waste-free lunches, visit . For more information on recycling and composting, visit Works and Engineering at

About Greenrock

According to The Footprint Network, which measures the ability of the planet to produce resources and absorb waste, our resource use and waste production is 60% more than the earth can produce or absorb annually.

This overshoot is the result of decisions that we each make every day. We seek to generate debate and to influence people to change their behaviour.We strive to be catalysts: Success for us is when we can Change the Mindset so that sustainable use of resources is included in decision-making for individuals, government or businesses. ... read more

Where to find Us

Suite 324, 48 Par-La-Ville Rd,
Hamilton HM11, Bermuda

Telephone: 1-441-747-ROCK (7625)