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Tips for Packing an Eco-Friendly Lunch

Many of you are already back in school mode, but we still have one more week of summer break left! We’re making the most of the end of summer sun, but I can tell you that this mom is ready to get back to our routine!

Consistent with my past few posts, let’s talk about eco-friendly choices for back to school. 

School lunch!

In a typical lunch you will probably find food packaged in plastic bags or pre-packaged snacks that aren’t reusable or recyclable. Yes, they’re definitely easier to grab and pack, but a typical lunch often includes at least a few of these non-recyclable trash items. If every kid brought two pieces of trash every day, five days a week, for the entire school year… imagine how much trash that is!  

Trash Free Lunch

My daughters have been using reusable “bento style” lunch boxes for the past few years. We started with a bento box found on Amazon and honestly the quality wasn’t great and they ended up breaking. 

Last year we upgraded to the PlanetBox and after a year of daily use, they are still in perfect condition! (Yes, my middle schooler still uses the Rover PlanetBox and it holds all she needs!)

We also have a stainless steel insulated container for when they want to bring hot items or leftovers.  

Initially, it can be more expensive to invest in a bento box, but it saves money in the long run. Single packaged snacks are more expensive and buying plastic baggies can add up. Plus, we all need to do our part to reduce the amount of waste we are producing.

If a bento box doesn’t work, try using reusable silicone bags like the stasher bags. Silicone is made from sand and carbon and is a great alternative to plastic because it’s not made with unsafe chemicals (BPA or BPS) that are often used to create plastic. Plus it is more sustainable and flexible. 

What about drinks?

Kids should be drinking water not juice or Gatorade. Even at home, we save “kid drinks” for special occasions. They don’t have any nutritional value and, honestly, we all should be consuming calories from healthy food sources not beverages. The girls take an Eco-Vessel stainless steel water bottle with them to school every day. By refilling a reusable water bottle we are reducing the amount of trash added to a landfill.

Thanks for reading and I hope you consider reducing your consumption of single-use items when packing a lunch!


What tips do you have to share for packing an eco-friendly lunch?