Do you have back to school items on your mind? Are you in the market for a new eco-friendly lunch box or sack? Is this the year you’ve promised yourself to stop using plastic sandwich bags and disposable utensils? Good news is that there are a ton of great products out there so you can reduce the amount of waste with the two hundred and some odd lunches you pack this year (times 2 or 3 with multiple kids).
Some ways to save a few trees are by using cloth napkins and we can do our part by lessening landfill waste with reusable utensils. Both can be ported back home the same way they found their way to school — within a lunch box or reusable sack.
Steer clear of prepackaged foods, juice boxes, and pouches, which create even more unnecessary hardship on our land. Not to mention the nutritional benefits to our kids by limiting these options.
And finally, pack your food and drink in reusable containers. Just think of all the money you’d save per child per school year if you packed just two snacks and a drink in reusable containers. Some of the re-usable items seem pricey but the savings is in the plastic bags and teaching our kids the value of reducing, reusing and recycling. Plus, the bento style lunch containers make it much easier to pack healthier options like blueberries, cherries, carrots, snap peas, apples, raisins, dried fruit, sandwiches, left overs, sushi, pasta, brown rice and beans.
Also, remember to pack ice packs if packing foods that can spoil to prevent bacteria that can cause food poisoning.
Here is a list of some great re-usable products.
Gogreeninstages – the waste free lunch kits
Sistema – Harris Teeter is carrying these containers for $7.99
reuseit – Sigg water bottles are on sale
Earthfare is also carrying, Ity Bitty Bite, re-usable lunch containers and water bottles.
I am sure there are other great companies offering similar products so please share what you have found and any great deals!
Check out snacktaxi.com for machine or dishwasher safe reusable lunch bags in a variety of fabrics; our family loves them, even Daddy in his lunch for work!
Great tips here, Adri! These sites had awesome lunch ideas, too, and I picked up a few more tricks for packing lunches. We have loved the “Easy Lunchbox System” from easylunchbox.com. The plastic container with 3 dividers is awesome as is the lunch bag. Last year, our preschool started issuing this set when the children start the toddler class. Genius!
Just purchased some very fun “reusable baggies” called Picnic Pouch by a company called ooNae. Found in Whole Foods while staying in Boston. Whole Foods Charlotte, I am longing for you to get here!
This comment was made on August 15th? I am four weeks and five days behind the times! Apologies – I didn’t see this blog or Anje’s comment until just now. Thank you for recommending my product, Anje! For those who are still looking for a reusable solution, I am about to launch the “Procrastinating Parent’s Back To School Sale” in the next few days. If you would like to be notified of the sale, log on to the website and leave me your email address!
All the best,
Honestly, you can save money by buying the small pyrex glass containers for lunchboxes, they come in all different sizes and food stays fresher and colder in them. Plus you can still use them even when your kids no longer need them.
They are thick and sturdy too. I have never had any break in the 4 years that I have been packing them (and my daughter is not easy on her lunchbox).
I just purchased the Go Green lunchbox system for my kids and it’s a great size and closes tight (http://www.gogreenlunchbox.com/). Last year my kids used Goodbyns, which are awesome and the kids loved decorating them with the provided stickers; however, after a year of tough use the water bottles have started leaking and the lids are harder to snap on (http://goodbyn.com/).