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Plastic-Free July Challenge #8: Meal Plan Project 🍲

Updated: Jul 13, 2020

A home prepared meal

Not only do homemade snacks and meals tend to be healthier and tastier than individually wrapped ones at the store, they are also better for the environment. Why spend extra money to send plastic wrappers and meal trays to the landfill when you can save money enjoying food from home the eco-friendly way? Plan ahead of time and buy everything you need in one trip to the grocery store if you are using a car. You will save time while helping to reduce carbon emission.

residential garbage

The average individual in the U.S. generates 4.5 pounds of garbage on a daily basis. For a family of 4, that is an average daily total of 17.6 lbs and a weekly total of over 123 lbs!

littered green wrapper

At OnePieceADay, we are firm believers that what the world needs in order to tackle the global waste problem is everyone attempting zero waste imperfectly. This means that we are reducing the waste that we generate in our daily lives little by little, wherever possible.

littered snack bags

Today, we want to focus on cutting out individually wrapped snacks and meals. The convenience that these products provide do not outweigh the detrimental effects that they have on the planet, especially considering the usual lack of nutritional value they tend to have. By meal prepping snacks and freezer meals, one can take advantage of larger, healthier, and cost effective food portions.

A covered batch of salad in a bowl
bowl of mixed fruits

Understandably the idea of a meal plan project can be intimidating if you are on a busy schedule, but adjusting to sustainable eating habits does not need to be complicated - it does not mean you need to cook everyday, or even at all. It can be as easy as preparing sandwiches 🥪

Our Tips:

  1. Stock up reusable *containers / *beeswax wrap / *stasher bags

  2. Opt for whole foods - Not only are they very nutritious, but they are naturally very low waste. Pre-chopping & seasoning fruits and veggies to make into meals and snacks is a quick way to meal prep.

  3. Dairy - there are many homemade yogurt recipes available online. However, if you are someone who would rather purchase it from the store, purchase larger containers rather than small individual ones. Purchase a large block of cheese and cut it into pieces rather than purchasing cheese strings.

  4. Bake homemade snacks + freeze - Muffins, pancakes, crackers, granola bars are a few examples.

  5. Shop in bulk - Buying in bulk is not always better as this can still involve individually packaged snacks. As a general rule, opt to purchase a larger bag/container of an item and separate into reusable packaging yourself.

(*As an Amazon Associate OnePieceADay earns from qualifying purchases)

You can find more tips and ideas at Project Meal Plan:

Sundae desert

As an additional challenge, avoid buying ice cream bars or sandwiches and make your own frozen desserts instead! Not only are ice cream bars individually packed in plastic, but they are packed with sugar and artificial flavors.

Frozen bananas are great for naturally sweet desserts!

Bananas🍌 are especially great for making your own naturally sweet vegan desserts. Put them in the freezer, and they taste just like ice cream! 🍦

You can cut the bananas into smaller pieces, which will also make them easier to mash together with other ingredients for extra flavor. They taste great when mashed with cocoa powder, figs, or avocados 🥑

Not only are these desserts naturally sweet and delicious, they are nutritious and filling; and can therefore help maintain a healthy body weight.


Today’s Challenge:

  • Show us how you meal prep!

  • Be sure to tag @onepieceaday1 in your photo, and use the hashtag #OPADPlasticFreeJuly to earn 1 ENTRY!

How can I win prizes?

Step 1: Follow @onepieceaday1

Step 2: Tag a friend! (optional)

Step 3: Share a photo (to your story OR your feed) of you completing each challenge for 1 ENTRY, tag @onepieceaday1, and use the hashtag #OPADPlasticFreeJuly.

Step 4: Log your refusal on the OnePieceADay app!

Each day is a new opportunity to increase your chances. Your total entries will be counted at the end of the month and be entered into a draw to win a zero-waste prize pack. Be sure to stick around for more chances to win!

Questions? Drop them below!


Tomorrow switch from liquid soap to bar soap 🧼

Laurel soap by Sote's Skin Care

Laurel soap by Sote's Skin Care

The average person uses 11 bottles of shower gel and 10 bottles of shampoo a year. The majority of these products are packaged in plastic, contributing to the 300 million tons produced each year. And because most people don’t have recycling containers in their bathrooms, it is easy for these plastic containers to end up in the trash.

Bar Soaps have a lower environmental impact than liquid soap in many important categories including carbon footprint, ecotoxicity, ozone depletion potential, and eutrophication potential (Koehler, A. and C. Wildbolz, Environmental Sciences and Technology)

While it is already common to use bar soap in the shower, we can also take extra consideration in our environment by using bar soap at our sinks.

Stay tuned tomorrow for challenge details!


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