Wasteless Wednesday | School Lunch Edition
Every Wednesday, I’m going to share with you some of my favorite ways to work toward a zero waste 24 hours in the kitchen. These tips are easy to implement, affordable (anyone else a fan of saving $$$?), and kind to our planet.
Reducing waste in the kitchen means sometimes looking at what kind of food is leaving the house, not just making its way to the table. With school starting up for us this week, I've got school lunches on my mind. I'm sure I'm not the only one! School lunches and snacks can be a big source of waste thanks to individually wrapped snacks, plastic wrap, plastic and paper bags, juice boxes, straws...the list is quite long! If you pack lunch for your kids even just a couple times a week, multiply that by the number of weeks your kiddos are in school, and that adds up to a LOT of stuff we are throwing away. It is cheaper and more responsible to invest in items that can be washed a reused. More work? I mean, if you count the 2 minutes it takes to clean something more work, then yes. But when I start feeling down about that, I just take a look at this video and realize that every little big of effort toward reducing waste makes a big difference. If that's not quite enough motivation for you, here are some other reasons to consider overhauling your school lunch supplies:
Save Money: You know how you have to buy new sandwich bags and plastic wrap every so often? Well, if you get any of these items to use in their place, you could go a WHOLE YEAR or more before needing to purchase anything new. More money in your bank account? YES. I suggest this and this to get you started! And grab some of these name tags to mark everything! I realize they are for clothes, but I've had great luck with them on water bottles and lunch boxes, even through dishwasher cycles.
Increased Storage Space: I have found that my reusable lunch materials take up much less space than boxes of sandwich bags and plastic wrap. That is a BIG win for me because I love the feeling of a decluttered kitchen.
Pass it on: By packing your kiddos' lunch with reusable containers and bags, you're teaching them to do it later in life. Yes! Pass on the earth love!
Creativity: Packing lunches doesn't have to be super boring! In fact, I find it pretty fun to look for lunch ideas for my kids that are not complicated but make it feel a little more special than just a sandwich and a bag of chips. My favorite place to go for inspiration is Weelicious. Her lunch creations are so fun and I can always find something that my kiddos will gobble up!
This post has a list of the items we love to use, but there is still the question of what lunchbox lasts through getting dropped and used on the daily. Even before my kids were in school, we have used the Rover lunch box from Planet Box. The compartments have been so helpful because I can pack a variety of foods I know my kids will love. Yes, it's an investment. But you know what? We've been using ours for 5 years and it is still just like new. Plus, they come with fun magnet decorations so kids can personalize their lunchboxes!