The beginning of September marks back to school for millions of kids - which for parents means lunch boxes, meal planning and school supplies shopping! Do you have a lunch box/bag that is tattered, used and just plain manky (love this word – gross or yucky works too!) and ready for retirement? If you use the insulated lunch bags, it can be troublesome to figure out what to do with them once they have moved beyond their lunch duties.
Here are some interesting solutions for reusing them instead of trashing them
Hard Plastic Lunch Boxes
- reuse for kids crafting supplies
- storage of pens, pencils, crayons
- (if still in working condition) recover with stickers or pictures to make it “new”
Insulated Fabric Lunch Boxes and Bags
- Break out the sewing machine and make cup holders
- Cut up the bag and use to insulate pipes or hard to reach places
Important considerations for new lunch box purchases
Is it Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) free?
Many lunch bags and boxes on the market are actually made of toxic plastic, most commonly polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl). PVC contains harmful chemicals, including phthalates, lead and cadmium which can be toxic to a child’s health. Phthalates and other toxic additives can leach out or evaporate into the air over time causing potential danger to children.
Can I recycle it when it’s done with it’s useful life as a lunch bag?
Look for cotton, stainless steel or glass solutions or companies that will take the product back and recycle it OR if buying plastic lunch box systems look for the recycling arrows on the product and make sure the plastic is FOOD GRADE plastic - will look like this:
Here’s a great DIY recipe for an all purpose cleaner that’s toxin free, works and is cheap and easy to make!
2 cups hot water
10 drops thyme essential oil
1/4 cup of washing soda (find in the laundry products aisle – also called sodium carbonate)
Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray on surfaces and wipe clean with a damp cloth or sponge.
To Your Health!
Tracy Lydiatt – B.Sc, M.Sc
The Green Families Guru