Thinking Outside the Box

15 December 2011 · 0 comments

in General Commentary, Reflective Activities, Whole School

Some people have washing machines which eat socks. I have a drawer which makes plastic box lids disappear. This is a nuisance. I am trying very hard to be environmentally friendly but if a box has no lid, then it’s not much use for storing sandwiches and other packed lunch paraphernalia.

North America’s green movement have been promoting litterless lunches for decades. The concept is simple. You make packed lunches where no litter is created and if you must have packaging, it should be recycled or composted. Instead of plastic bags, cling film or aluminium foil, you put food into boxes and take water or juice in a reusable bottle. Dairylea lunchables are a definite no-no along with yoghurts and crisp packets. This challenge is harder than it looks, especially if you have no lids for all your plastic boxes.

In April I stumbled across a nifty little item called a Wrap-n-Mat sitting innocently on a shelf in an outdoor centre near Seattle. This object has revolutionised my life and put a lid on my plastic box problem once and for all. It’s a plastic coated piece of material in which you wrap up sandwiches. Being a closet science nerd and open sceptic, I bought a couple to test. Like all other sectors of our society, the eco world is full of Things You Never Knew You Never Needed for the ethical consumer. I am a wary purchaser of gimmicky products.

Every day last term, I made up sandwiches and wrapped them up. The Wrap-n-Mats survived. I machine washed, hand washed, wiped them clean and used them continuously. Four months later, they are still going strong. The mat acts like a soft plate and catches crumbs and spills. Best all of they live in my box drawer and have yet to go awol.

So for sandwich life beyond the box, visit or if you are living in the UK, try

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