A Waste-Free Lunch
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is from Kristine Munroe-Mahoney. Kristine is the Community Manager at KeenForGreen.com. She is passionate about going green along with her son, Isaac, and her husband, Matt. She lives outside of Boston.
Now that it’s time to go back to school, there’s a lot to think about. School supplies, teachers, extracurricular activities. But, what about packing lunches? This year, say good-bye to Ziplocs, juice boxes, and paper bags, and say hello to a waste-free lunch!
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “packing a waste-free lunch saves an average student $250 and 67 pounds of trash per nine-month school year!” Wow!
Luckily, there are plenty of affordable and stylish options to keep your kid’s school lunch waste-free. (And yours, too!)
Instead of brown-bagging it, help your kids pick out a fun and sturdy lunch box to last throughout the school year. I’m a big fan of the Litter-Free Lunch Kit because it comes with all sorts of food containers. It’s well insulated, too, so your child won’t be eating a lukewarm tuna sandwich by noon.
If your kids prefer lunch bags, canvas lunch bags are a great option because you can just throw them in the washing machine if they get soiled!
Avoid Pre-Packaged Foods:
I know, I know – those single serving packages of food are easier to just toss in a lunch box, but they just create more waste. Make things at home whenever possible or buy things in bulk and put them in reusable containers.
Growing up in the eighties, we all had plastic lunch boxes with matching Thermoses. Thermoses don’t seem as popular today, but I say it’s time to bring the Thermos back! The Thermos brand now has many stainless steel options for beverages and food. You can fill them with juice or water for a drink or something hot, like soup or pasta, for lunch!
While not great for little kids, Pyrex containers are perfect for a work lunch because if you need to heat something up in the microwave, you can heat it up in the Pyrex container and eat from it as well.
Stainless Steel Food Containers:
They’re air tight and you can use them for your lunch or storing food at home as well.
Ditch the Ziplocs and buy some reusable snack and sandwich bags! I love The Lucky Butterfly because they’re cute, reusable, and easy to clean.
Cloth Napkins and Utensils:
Don’t forget to throw a cloth napkin and a fork or spoon in your lunch box!
Encourage your kids to bring your food waste home to compost. They can use one of their reusable food containers to bring back that banana peel and uneaten sandwich crust!
Sometimes reusable containers just aren’t practical, like for field trips. If You Care makes biodegradable wax paper, which is an excellent option. Aluminum foil, while isn’t really the most eco-friendly, is 100% recyclable and can often be recycled with aluminum cans.
Share with friends