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A Healthy, Waste-Free Lunch

By Chloe Peterson
September 15, 2010
File under: Food, Health, School Supplies, Shopping, Sustainable Products


You can go ahead and take brown paper bags and sandwich baggies off your shopping list.  This is a new green school year, and there are lots of fun ways to pack a no-waste lunch to take to school – and to the office.

Put Away the Paper Bags:
You might have everything you need at home to go garbage-less. You may already have a lunchbox or cooler bag hanging around.  Or do it yourself:  When I was a kid, our mom sewed simple drawstring bags that were lightweight (they crumple up in the bottom of your backpack after lunch) and machine-washable.

You could also look for a new insulated lunch bag that will keep your lunch cool and leak-free.

  • Teenagers might be too cool for animal designs, so try something a bit more grown-up:  Embark Lunch Coolers come in a variety of colors. Available at www.amazon.com and Target.
  • Scout Ice Ice Baby are functional, insulated soft cooler bags that come in lots of colors.  Also available at www.amazon.com

Forget the Foil and Plastic:

lunch-2.jpgThere are a wide variety of reusable food storage containers in every shape, size and material imaginable.  Look for BPA and phlalate- free plastics – or better yet, stainless steel.

  • Kids Konserve Nesting Trio Stainless-Steel Containers with Leak-Proof Lids and Kids Konserve Food Kozy, a lightweight, pocket-like and very cool alternative to plastic bags: http://www.kidskonserve.com
  • Lunch Bots stainless steel food containers come with compartments, and are super neat: http://lunchbots.com/

Bin the Bottles and Juice Boxes:

lunch-3.jpgRefilling your own bottles is a huge step to reducing the amount of garbage you send to landfill.  Again, stainless steel is best – or look for BPA and phlalate-free plastics. Just find one you like:

  • Camelbak, the makers of hard core sports hydration equipment, also have an excellent line of lunchbox-ready water bottles. Our whole family loves Camelbak the best for its design, high quality, and ease.  They come in different sizes, colors, and fun designs (a kid-size dinosaur bottle is a sure hit with any toddler), and the durable drinking straw means no more lids to unscrew: http://www.camelbak.com

And what about Mom?

lunch-4.jpgPacking a healthy lunch to the office will prevent all that take-out waste – not to mention saving you tons of money. Treat yourself to a fabulous and stylish stainless steel set from Zojirushi Ms.Bento – the insulated tote looks more like a fashionable purse than a lunchbox! Available at http://www.target.com

Throw in a cloth napkin and stainless steel or reusable plastic utensils, and you’re good to go. With all these fun products to choose from, kids (and parents) can express their personal style while feeling great about reducing waste. Don’t forget to add the fresh fruits and veggies (and an “I love you” note in the lunch box from Mom never hurts, too!)

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