If you’ve been packing a school lunch for your children for any period of time, you know that there is a lot of waste involved in the process. Plastic bags, juice boxes and napkins get used, thrown away and then carted off to the landfill. Even if your child’s school has a great recycling program, it is impossible to guarantee that your little one will take the time to sort through their trash and put it in the right place. Therefore, it is important to be as eco-friendly as possible when packing their food. The following simple tips do not cost a lot of money to implement but can make a big difference for the Earth.
Purchase Reusable Bags
One of the best ways to cut down on lunch waste is by eliminating the use of plastic bags. As an alternative, investigate your options when it comes to reusable sandwich bags. A simple online search should yield a number of possibilities, most of which are BPA and phthalate free. In addition, these bags can generally be thrown into the dishwasher, making clean-up a breeze.
Stay Away from Prepackaged Snacks
Let’s face it, pre-packaged snacks are an easy and convenient option for your child’s lunch box. However, they are also expensive, and they generate a lot of waste. Avoid them whenever possible and instead pack your child’s fruit, vegetables and chips in containers that can be used over and over again. Look for products that don’t have PVC, lead, or BPA, however.
Invest in a Stainless Steel Bottle
Like prepackaged snacks, juice boxes are convenient and costly. Instead of buying them, purchase a large jug of water or juice for your refrigerator, and fill up a stainless steel bottle for your child to take to school each day. Find a product that you can wash in the dishwasher, however, or commit yourself to cleaning the bottle as soon as possible each day. Particularly if you store juice in it, the bottle will be very attractive to ants and other pests if it isn’t cleaned out properly. You don’t want to create a problem that only an Orange County pest control technician can fix!
Talk with your Child
Before implementing the changes mentioned above, sit down with your little one and show them what their lunch will look like from now on. Point out which items need to be repacked when they are finished eating so they don’t inadvertently throw something out.
When it comes to packing a “green” lunch, little changes can make a big difference. While you don’t have to do everything listed above all at once, choose one tip that you are comfortable with and try it out. From there, continue making small tweaks to the process until you are as eco-friendly as possible!