Ready to start making homemade lunches?

Hi, I’m Gemma, the creator of the Enjoy a homemade lunch challenge. I’m so happy you’ve decided to join us. The aim of this challenge is to make your own lunch, avoiding the need to grab on-the-go lunches. Stage one is simply making your lunch, in stages two and three we’ll aim to reduce homemade lunch packaging too.

I’ve put together this page with some inspiration, tips and ideas, to help you breeze your way to making your lunch less wasteful.

Table of Contents

How to have lunch with less waste

By planning and preparing lunch at home, you can use a great deal less packaging and waste less food – using one bread bag a week which can be recycled, or one bag of pasta which could last ages – as opposed to a daily on-the-go shop bought lunch, or microwavable rice packets or ready meals. Every item of packaging adds up so start small by buying loose apples and work your way up. By preparing what you plan to eat you are able to control portion sizes and ensure you are eating what you can manage.

Why reducing your lunchtime waste is a great idea.

By reducing lunchtime packaging and food waste you are also reducing the demand for energy, water, land use, fossil fuels, and transport. It has been said that reducing food waste is one of the top solutions to the climate crisis!

By reducing lunchtime packaging and food waste you are also reducing the demand for energy, water, land use, fossil fuels, and transport.

Some stats

  • Globally we’ve already created over 8.3 billion metric tonnes of plastic. Plastic production is likely to double in the next 20 years. Scientists believe plastic is unlikely to ever completely degrade if left in the environment, so it could outlive our grandchildren’s grandchildren!
  • 300 tonnes of litter are cleared from the River Thames each year.
  • Single-use plastics make up half of the plastic produced!
  • Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, British workers used 10.7 billions items of packaging for on-the-go lunches
  • The prepackaged sandwich was born in 1980 and prices started at 43p a sarnie!

Getting ready

Mastering the homemade lunch action will be dependent on how prepared you are. Here are some steps and ideas to try to give you the best chance of success:

  • Check out some easy lunchtime recipes, here are some suggested links for inspiration:
  1. Sandwich inspiration
  2. Recipe ideas using leftovers
  3. Meat-eater recipe ideas
  4. Plant-based recipe ideas
  • Make sure you have the ingredients ready so you’re not tempted to opt for convenience.
  • Remember that buying loose is best but not always possible. If you buy packaged products, check what packaging is recyclable from the kerbside by visiting your local council’s website or going to Recycle Now!
  • It doesn’t hurt to ask at supermarket deli counters for cheeses and meats to be put in your own tub, this was slowly becoming the norm, and we want to make it that way again!
  • Some people find it easier to prep the week’s lunch on a Sunday, some find it best to prep each morning or evening, whilst the rest grab and run. Experiment and find what works for you!
  • Most importantly – enjoy every mouthful!