Packing an eco-friendly lunch
Stephanie R. Kinnon
Lunch packing season is here. As you pack a nutritious meal, make it as eco-friendly and green as possible and help reduce your lunch's carbon footprint.
Lunch packing season is here. As you grapple with packing a nutritious meal, make it as green as possible–and we’re not just talking broccoli. Help your kids reduce their carbon footprint by ensuring their lunches are packed in an environmentally friendly way.
As an extra bonus, not only will packing green lunches reduce your contribution to the landfills, it may also save you money.
Landfill-Friendly Lunch Bags
Forget the discarded paper bags of yesteryear, the plastic grocery bags that clutter kitchen cupboards, and those archaic plastic lunch boxes. If you’re searching for an eco-friendly lunch bag, consider opting for something made of cloth. Not only are these natural bags kinder to the environment, but they’re kinder on your wallet. They’re washable and reusable–what more could you ask for?
Many different brands are available; for ideas, check out ecobags.com or reusablebags.com. If you’re the crafty, do-it-yourself type, consider taking the kids to the fabric store, having them pick out their own washable cotton, and sewing a lunch bag yourself.
Skip the Juice Box
Embrace the new generation of reusable, non-leaching drink containers, and leave those single-portion juice boxes at the grocery store. The latest in reusable drink containers are lightweight, unbreakable, and often dishwasher-friendly. The new stainless steel and aluminum versions are better for your little one than their plastic counterparts, which may leach dangerous chemicals. Check out kleankanteen.com for a sampling of stainless steel drink containers, or try the Swiss reusable aluminum Sigg bottles at mysigg.com.
Next Generation Food Storage Containers
Though the parties were fun, the days of plastic food storage containers are over. Hounded by chemical leaching controversies, plastic containers are being abandoned in favour of safer, more environmentally responsible choices. For transporting sandwiches, yogourt, veggies, or last night’s leftover macaroni and cheese, consider stainless steel food storage containers. Check out stainlessseal.com for someinteresting choices.
Green Lunch Tips
As you pack those lunches, remember that not only are prepackaged foods less nutritious and more costly than homemade, but they also contribute more to landfills. Pick products with the least amount of packaging you can; for example, opt for a large container of yogourt over the single-serving packages. Consider sending kids to school with a cloth napkin instead of paper, and forgo plastic cutlery for the reusable version from home. Although these steps may seem simple, a little goes a long way in reducing our impact on the environment.