One of my challenges each day is prepare healthy lunches for my kids to take to school (who mostly refuse to eat what is served in the cafeteria!) while also staying kind to the environment. Yes, it is easy to throw a bunch of pre-packaged one-serving items into those lunch bags- but with 6 kids -that contributes a huge amount of unnecessary trash to landfills- something that I just do not want to do. Not to mention, buying snacks and fruit in single-serving containers is much more expensive than buying larger sized packages and portioning them out yourself (showing my frugal side here!). So here are my 3 best tips on how to be “green” while packing school lunches:
1. Use small washable containers for all of your food items
Sandwiches, chips, fruits, veggies can all be sent in reuable containers such as Glad Food Storage products. Each afternoon the kids and I unpack all of the containers, throw them into the dishwasher to be cleaned, and then set them out on the counter to be re-filled for the next day’s lunch.
2. Only use re-fillable water bottles
One that I love is this Brita water bottle with a built-in filtration system. The water from our home comes from a well, and while our house does have a water filtration system, I am not always sure of what the water quality and taste will be like when the kids and I refill our bottles away from home, such as at school or at the park. With this bottle, I can be sure that the water will always be clean and will taste great! And my kids think the filter is super cool!
3. Switch to cloth napkins!
A few years ago I went online and purchased a big stack of cloth napkins- similar to what you would find in a restaurant, and started using them for all of our meals at home, as well as for all of our school lunches and snack bags. I keep a bin in my kitchen pantry for the used napkins, and once a week I throw all of them into the washing machine and wash them in hot water (I know hot water isn’t as “green”… but I want to kill germs and bacteria here!). I can usually wrangle one of two of the kids into helping me fold the stack of clean napkins before they are returned to a big basket on the kitchen counter to be used again.
I hope that you feel inspired to consider the impact on the environment when you are packing your child’s school lunch… and I would love to hear about any other ideas that you have for “going green” in the kitchen!
Disclosure: This post is part of the DailyBuzz Moms Tastemaker program in partnership with Chlorox. All opinions are my own, although Cholorx did graciously provide my family with a Britax filtration water bottle, a package of Gladware containers, and a tub of Chlorox disinfecting wipes for us to try.