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Gadgets

Green lunchbox does double duty

Recyclable lunchbox sports removable pieces that can be used as utensils

Envirogadget

Like many of my colleagues, I pack my lunch when I go to work. One thing that has always bothered me is the number of plastic bags that go to waste as a result. I try to reuse them as many times as possible, but I can't help but be bothered when I throw them away because I know that they'll end up in a landfill or in the ocean. What's worse is that the plastic utensils my work provides are just as bad at biodegrading as these plastic bags are. As of late, I'd like to use a reusable lunch box and utensils, but I don't always have the space in my bag for transporting them home. Thankfully, some designers have found a way to incorporate recyclable materials and multifunctional practicality into lunch packaging.

These Spoon & Box utensils and packaging--created by designers Won-Jae Lee, Jun-Yong Lee, Sang-Jun Hahn, Sun-Kyu Kim, and Yeo-Wool Kang--represent a true blend of convenience and environmental consciousness. Your lunch is carried in the cardboard box, and when you're ready to eat, you remove the perforated portions on the handle, and the removed pieces can be modified and used at eating utensils. When you're finished using them, they can be recycled along with your other cardboard recyclables.

OK, so maybe using cardboard utensils with spaghetti and meatballs may end up as a mushy paper mess: but the idea holds for dryer lunches, and could be used to handle simple lunch assembly tasks like stirring tuna with mustard for tuna salad or scooping beans, rice, or hummus. In any case, I'd feel better risking a soggy spoon than throwing another nonbiodegradable plastic bag.