Healthy Living

5 Tips for packing a Waste-Free Lunch

5 Tips for packing a Waste-Free Lunch

It’s hard to believe that many are in back-to-school mode now and you know what that means...it's time to think about lunch.  As parents, we all know that packing school lunches can be a bit challenging and for eco-minded moms and dads, it can be a little worrisome when we start to think about all the potential waste.  At Modern Kids Design, we’re always thinking about ways to reduce waste and came up with a few ideas for packing your child’s lunch as waste-free as possible…

When we think about school lunches, some of us may harken back to those brown paper bags we toted to class or the odd trays we got at the cafeteria. Sending our kids to school with healthy food is important, and considering how we pack it is important as well. For example, packing organic apple slices for a crunchy treat is a great idea, but should we use a plastic bag or any available container? Ultimately, everyone must make choices that are best for their family.  But it is good to know that there are some awesome companies out there that have come up with creative alternatives and solutions that will take some of the guesswork out of lunch planning. Here are a few indie makers and tips to consider:

1. Containers

Recyclable plastic containers are everywhere and their BPA content is not always clear. When looking for containers to hold your famous pasta salad, make sure to look for BPA-free products. We enjoy the ECOlunchbox. Designed by a mother of two, ECOlunchbox features stainless-steel containers that help you keep foods separate and free from squishing, which is great for picky eaters. They come in different sizes and make packing a bento-style lunch a breeze.

2. Sandwich Bags

Plastic sandwich bags are ubiquitous, but that doesn’t make them the only choice for school lunches, and why not consider our environment? While they can be recyclable, the feasibility of this in a crowded lunchroom means it may not be the best option for a waste-free lunch. Instead of plastic, consider a cloth bag like the Eco Ditty Snack Bag. These bags are great for carrying a simple sandwich or some yummy dry snacks. The Eco Ditty Snack Bag is made from organic cotton and can be machine washed. It can even be put in your dishwasher! Talk about easy.

3. Lunch Bags

Reusable lunch bags are more mainstream now and perhaps more popular than their brown bag counterparts. Thankfully, SoYoung is giving them a stylish makeover. Their lunch boxes are made of durable linen and feature a removable insulated insert, making them machine washable. With fabulous retro designs and a pocket for cutlery, they’re an easy choice for making lunch fun and stylish. Here are a couple that you might like:  The Purple Elephant and the Green Rocket. And for older kids, the cooler bag is a great option. Check out the Brown Birds and the Blue Bicycle.

4. Water Bottles

Don’t forget to pack a drink with lunch! Skip the juice box and consider a reusable water bottle, such as S’well. These stainless steel water bottles are insulated, so not only will they help reduce waste from juice boxes and plastic water bottles, but they’ll also keep your kid’s drink cool if you pack a cold drink or hot if you pack something warm until lunch. The 9 oz. bottle is perfect for little hands and the color variety means there’s something for everyone.

5. Glass Straws

One item you may not have thought about is the glass straw. Handcrafted and made in the USA,  Strawesome makes lovely reusable straws that come a range of colors such as pink, green and blue.  They are super durable and ready for the test. We love the “funky to go set” that comes in it’s own compact case perfect for taking to school.

There are certainly more choices available now than when we brought lunch to school! It’s exciting to think about the different possibilities. Lunchtime should be something our kids look forward to, and with these nifty containers, it’ll be more  fun even  for us as parents. Not only can we ensure that we are sending our kids to school with healthy meals, but we can do our part to reduce lunchtime waste. If you’ve got product ideas, we’d love to hear them so feel free to reach out!  As always, thanks for reading!