What have you got for lunch?

As a college student who is more often than not strapped for cash and conscious of the fact that little bits here and there go a long way, I often pack myself a lunch to save myself the good few euros it would cost to pick up a sandwich at a shop or café.

I have become increasingly conscious too, however, of waste and the need to vastly reduce it in order to contribute to the slowing down of the rapid increase in the damaging of this world. I won’t get into this, but we all know we are at crisis point (a scary, sobering thought – or at least it should be) and something needs to be done.

I cannot change or influence the actions or minds of the 1% and world leaders who have it most within their power to make a big difference. I can, however, do my own little bit – if we all do, we can make a difference, at least.

So, instead of using clingfilm or tinfoil to wrap my homemade sandwich, I’ve invested in a linen tea towel (when I say invested, I mean nicked one I know hadn’t yet been used from home – Mum won’t miss it) and, using an elastic band or hair bobble to secure it, have been using this to wrap my sandwich. This eliminates the need for clingfilm and/or tinfoil all together, which means you don’t have to buy them, and is reusable so you only need to invest in (or politely, with permission, nick) one, furthering the cost effectiveness of the whole idea.

My sandwich: brown bread roll with cheese, wrapped in linen tea towel and secured with unaesthetic but effective elastic band.

As well as that, I carry around with me always my glass KeepCup for coffee on the go. I love my KeepCup – it reduces the amount of mostly un-recyclable one-use paper cups that are thrown out, and many cafés offer those with KeepCups (doesn’t have to be that brand – can be any reusable coffee flask) to encourage people to invest in one, making this investment highly cost effective in the long run too. Besides, your coffee stays hot a lot longer in a KeepCup or flask than it does in a paper cup, and it tastes much better, especially if you have a glass one (glass doesn’t hold on to that lingering stale coffee smell, and doesn’t have the metallic taste that sometimes comes from a metal flask).

My KeepCup, with the remains of a not-too-bad homemade Latte.

These are two of the little changes I’ve made to my routine to contribute in my own little way to the reduction of waste. I’m sure, and I hope, I will think of and start doing more.

Ciara D. 22/1/2019

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