Saturday, 19 October 2013

Have spoon, will travel

Spiderman and I eat a considerable amount of pack lunches. It’s one of the ways we can have more fun. We buy cheap tickets to do something fun in London, then buy train tickets (which often cost more than the fun tickets) then if you added in the cost of buying food there isn’t any money left. Bringing food and water with us saves us from buying expensive food that is often not very healthy. £3 packet of crisps, anyone?

Plus it is more environmentally friendly as most of the stuff you buy for pack lunches on the go is made of plastic and comes with a plastic fork and some paper napkins all of which you throw away.

So I’ve been working on a better way. We used to pack sandwiches but since my tummy has rebelled against wheat we tend to go for other things these days. Sometimes I make my own or sometimes we spend £1.50 each on M&S meal pots which are basically a grain, some beans, lots of veg and a dressing. Buying them ahead of time means I can rehouse them into washable containers, therefore recycling the containers they come in (as opposed to eating them on the road and having to throw away the plastic container).

But what about utensils? And napkins? I wanted to come up with a carrier so we could bring our own and be even more green. So I made this out of some old curtains someone gave me. I only had to spend 20p for the button as I had everything else.

Here it is rolled up in its travel form.

Here it is open so you can see the pockets. I made a flap as the first one I made the stuff kept falling out the top into the bag. Very annoying.

Here it is from the back so you can see the fabric.

Here it is with cloth napkins and spoons in it.


I would always prefer to use real spoons rather than plastic but some places we go like the BBC for telly and radio recordings have a metal detector and frown on metal spoons. For these trips we have been washing a reusing a couple of plastic forks, but I really want to forgo plastic if I can so we hit on the brilliant idea of wooden utensils.


At first I wanted to get some beautiful handmade wooden ones that were very pretty. But what if for some odd reason they were confiscated by a security guard (which has happened to us. When they take your stuff, you have to fill out a form and then queue after the recording to get it back and it is a pain). So we decided on disposable wooden ones. You can get a bag of 500 wooden spoons for under a tenner and we can reuse a few times and then compost. Genius.


We’ve even had a go at bring our own utensils and napkins to our favourite healthy fast food restaurant LEON in London. Spiderman and I both can have a delicious chickpea and vegetable curry in a creamy coconut milk sauce over brown rice plus a drink for around £12. Sometimes we splurge and go there if the event we are going to is free. I love LEON because your food comes in a recycled cardboard box, but they give you masses of plastic utensils (a fork, spoon and knife each) plus a big wodge of paper napkins. The last time we were there I just said very quickly when I saw her reaching for them, “No thank you---we don’t need any. We brought our own.” I wasn’t quick enough to avoid the plastic straw, so that’s my goal for next time.


How do you reduce your plastic consumption and save money?


  1. You never do anything halfway. My chickadee has 2 speeds: full out and dead stop. I doubt you'll ever stop on this quest. Proud of you.

  2. Love the carrier and the thought that went into it!