Greening School Lunches

September 2, 2010 VIP Guest Blogger

My son started school a couple of weeks ago and as for the first time I begin the daily task of packing school lunches I am realizing how much waste is generated each week. Thankfully, the teacher has my child send home the food he doesn’t eat (so it isn’t wasted and so I know what he actually eats), but each lunch he is throwing away several plastic baggies, juice boxes or pouches and the like.

I should have realized this before school started, but I was so busy with other things like shopping for school supplies and getting us organized so we could get back on a schedule. Just three weeks in to kindergarten and I am already thinking about ways that we can “go green” with his school lunches. I don’t even want to think about the amount of garbage generated by the end of the school year…According to Green Irene the “average school lunch creates 67 pounds of waste. That’s 18,760 pounds of waste per year for just one school.”

The great thing about being a mom today is that there are so many resources available to solve problems like this. Here are several products that I’ve found interesting and helpful:

FOR DRINKS

Cute Sip & Vapur Anti-Bottle
Cute Sip & Vapur Anti-Bottle

CuteSip Stainless Steel Bottles are BPA and Lead free, they’re spill proof ensuring they wont leak in a lunch box, and are small enough to stash in a locker for between class hydration. Because of the stainless steel design, will keep drinks cool up to 4 hours. 100% dishwasher safe with interchangeable lid designs allowing one bottle to become 4 – baby bottle, toddler sippy, sports bottle, and tumbler.

Unlike traditional rigid bottles, The Vapur Anti-Bottle is flexible, which means it stands upright when full and can be rolled, folded or flattened when empty, easily fitting into pockets, purses and lunchboxes. The highly-durable bottle is freezable, dishwasher safe and BPA-free, which means it can be safely reused again and again. My son’s teacher allows them water bottles in class and he thinks his Vapur is about the coolest in the whole class.

FOR REPLACING PLASTIC BAGGIES

lunch Skins
Lunch skins

Christina from Metro Baby Cards loves using Lunch Skins in her daughter’s lunch. Lunch Skins are made in the USA from certified food-safe fabric. They’re dishwasher-safe, quick drying and durable. They’re also free of lead, bpa, and phthalates. Lunch Skins also have several school fund-raising options. What a great way to encourage your whole school to “go green.”

ReUsies are another great reusable bag option and will help you eliminate all the plastic baggies that end up in the trash. They are 100% cotton lined with leak resistant nylon and come in tons of cute patterns (lead, BPA and phthalate free) and can be washed by hand or thrown in the washer/dryer or even the dishwasher. I’ve started carrying these around in my purse with snacks for my daughter. She loves the cute bags and easy access to snacks.

STURDY CONTAINERS

Easy Lunch Boxes
Easy Lunch Boxes

LunchBots are stainless steel lunch and snack containers that are healthier than plastic and better for the environment. Made from the highest quality, 18/8 stainless steel. LunchBots are safe, eco-friendly, and durable. The LunchBots Duo has a handy divider for crackers and cheese, fruit and nuts, and more.

The Easy Lunch Box System recently has recently been named as a top “5 Eco-Friendly Mommy must have” by PARENTS ASK. FDA approved. No BPA, phthalates, lead, vinyl, or PVC. Safe for dishwasher, freezer and microwave. 9.38″ x 6.1″ x 2″ Compartment capacities: Large section – 2.5 Cups, Smaller section – 3/4 cup, Smallest section- 1/2 cup. I’ve gotten my husband to start using these for his lunch and it’s worked great. He likes to take leftovers, and with Easy Lunch Boxes I have just 1 plastic container to wash vs. several.

FOR CLEANING UP

cloth napkins for kids
Cloth Napkins for Kids

Cloth napkins for kids are an integral part of creating a waste-free lunch. Happikins has cute cloth napkins that are perfectly sized for kids at 12″ x 12.” Most of their napkins are made from 100% cotton and are machine-washable and are constructed with a mitre edge to ensure they hold up for years.

JUST THE LUNCH BAG

Hadaki Lunch Pod
Hadaki Lunch Pod

I love these bags by Hadaki, not for my kindergartener but for me instead! They come in several gorgeous colorful patterns and are great for packing lunches on the go. I still have one child at home and we often pack lunches for the park, zoo, or botanic gardens. No more brown paper sacks for us! Insulation helps keep items cold or warm, water resistant inside and out, No Phthalates/DEHP, DBP, or BOP.

FOR THE DO-IT-YOURSELFER

Handmade Lunch Bags & Accessories
Handmade Lunch Bags & Accessories

Today’s hottest designers share their sewing savvy with 25 projects, from a simple sandwich wrap to a sophisticated shoulder bag in the book Lunch Bags!: 25 Handmade Sacks & Wraps to Sew Today, available from Stash Books. Why shouldn’t your lunch bag match your personal wardrobe and eco-conscious lifestyle? This book makes me wish I knew how to sew!

good life eats, katie goodman, food bloggerWritten by Katie Goodman. Katie Goodman is Skimbaco’s Family Food & Good Life Expert. This mother of two, believes that part of the goodness in life is sharing good food with friends and family. She’s a SAHM determined to make family meal time a priority while providing a variety of healthy and delicious food choices. Katie blogs at goodLife {eats}, where she shares what she finds good in the kitchen and in life. Katie also contributes to Craftzine, Tablespoon, and Paula Deen Online.

Disclosure: I received samples from a selection of the products listed in this article, but I was not paid to publish positive comments.

VIP Guest Blogger

Occasionally you can find guest posts on Skimbaco Lifestyle by carefully selected and distinguished writers and experts on their own field. We call them all VIP Guest Bloggers. You can read more about guest blogging opportunities and some of the past posts.

Comments (4)

  1. for wrapping my sons school sandwiches I reuse the liner that comes in the cereal packets..love the beautiful layout of the article those bags are lovely

  2. Jamie

    I personally love the Snack Happened bag by Itzy Ritzy. They have a zipper closure and are FDA approved.

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