7 simple tips for packing a waste-free lunch
1. Use containers. Ideally, one container with multiple compartments that fits easily into your child's lunchbox. Due to recent studies showing that plastics can leech toxins, some parents are turning to aluminum or glass containers. Any one you choose is better than a plastic bag that is estimated to take hundreds, if not more, years to breakdown in our landfills.
2. Add a Water Bottle. Stop buying juice boxes and single use plastic water bottles and trade in a few re-usable water bottles for your kids' lunches. These days, there are many styles, designs and colors to choose from that you can find online and in many stores. There are now many popular options made from recycled steel, such as Klean Kanteen, or alumium, such as SIGG.
3. Buy in Bulk. Cut down on packaging by replacing single serving items like boxed raisins, cheese sticks, and apple sauce cups. Instead, buy the same items in large containers and simply put what your child will eat in your lunch container. You'll be amazed by the reduction in trash and food waste with this simple trade off.
4. Pack Whole Fruits. Try packing a whole apple, banana, peach, peeled orange or other fruit that your kids can eat without packaging. You may find they eat more of it and you'll feel good that you haven't created unnecessary trash.
5. Clean with Cloth. Of course, this one is our favorite! Toss in your favorite Fabkins, or two (one for a placemat, one for cleaning messy faces and hands), and remind your child to bring it home with lunchbox and containers. Cloth napkins greatly reduce the number of paper towels and napkins used and disposed and may even replace the sleeve for mouth wipes!
6. Wrap it up. Swap out a container for a fabric washable wrap for snacks and sadnwiches. Check out Wrap-n-Mats, which come in different designs and colors and double as a placemat. Their tag-line says it all: The convenient, environmentally friendly re-usable sandwich mat and placemat all in one!
7. Get creative. Packing a trash-free lunch gives a parent more opportunities to be creative about not only how you pack your child's lunch, but what you give your child to eat. Have fun selecting containers, napkins and water bottles that reflect your kids' personality and interests, and feel good about doing your part to save the environment.