If in the midst of the back to school craziness, you’re looking for ways to give your kids a green start to school, natural living expert Jen Boulden of The Well Daily, offers up these easy tips to packing a greener school lunch.
Eat well but waste not
According to Boulden, each child who brings a lunch to school every day generates an estimated 67 pounds of waste per school year. The good news is packing a more eco-conscious lunch is a convenient endeavor if you take advantage of the many earth-friendly lunch options available at your local supermarket, health food store, or online. A greener lunch is better for the planet, your wallet and your family’s health. Boulden recommends the following reusable bags, bottles, and lunch tips.
“Plastic baggies can hang around landfills for up to 1,000 years,” says Boulden. “Try reusable alternatives, like Wrap-N-Mat, a reusable sandwich wrap that opens into a placemat. If 10,000 people used alternatives to sandwich bags every day for a year, we’d keep 2.5 million plastic baggies out of landfills.”
Boulden encourages parents to just say no to plastic water bottles. “For drinks, use a stainless steel container like Contigo’s kid-friendly cups,” she adds. As a big bonus, you’ll be teaching your kids the importance of choosing reusable bottles over disposable bottles that just end up in landfills.
“Instead of plastic utensils, throw in some To-Go Ware reusable bamboo utensils and a cloth napkin,” Boulden suggests. Just make sure that your kids know to bring the utensils and napkin home.
Green lunch bags
Did you know that many plastic lunch boxes are made with the chemical PVC? “PVC is linked to chronic diseases such as learning and developmental disabilities, obesity, asthma and cancer to name a few,” warns Boulden. “Opt for a sustainable lunch bag by a company called Fluf, a recycled canvas Ecobag, and a lunch box made from recycled water bottles.”
Conveniently packaged foods may be easier to throw in a school lunch, but they are more expensive and create more waste. “When buying food that you’ll be using for the kid’s lunches, save cash and the planet by buying in bulk,” advises Boulden. “Then, pack small amounts in a reusable container each day.”
Being green is easy when you’re prepared and plan ahead. Take the time to invest in reusable school lunch items and you’ll save money, show kindness to the earth, and promote your child’s health.