What’s your bit? The Garbage Free Lunch

It’s that most wonderful time of the year for Parents, FREEDOM! I mean of course for our children…Ahem, back to school.

 
Photo by: amanky

Most of us get very excited for this magical time of the year. It’s time for new school supplies, shiny new shoes, a new routine, and a clean slate to start the school year off on the right foot. It’s also an exciting time of the year for retailers who want to sell you all kinds of things you don’t always really need including at the supermarket where manufacturers make convenience for mom look really enticing with prepackaged everything from fruits, and snacks to pre-sealed and divided luncheon meats, crackers, and sandwiches. 

Unfortunately for our kids, these may not always be the most nutritional choices, and they are certainly not good for the environment as it makes for excessive packaging and use of plastics, foils, and paper products which are an unnecessary waste of resources and money. Here are a few eco- tips to kick start the year on the right foot in the lunch room:

 
  • Brown Bagging is OUT. I imagine if a tree had bad karma it would come back as a brown paper lunch bag. Surely there are better uses for a tree, (like letting them live to help clean our atmosphere,) so Invest in a sturdy, roomy, and durable eco-friendly lunch box for your kids this year and pack your bag with green.
     
  • Take the garbage free challenge…no Saran Wrap, juice boxes, foil, wax paper, paper napkins, or paper towel
     
  • Buy lead free and BPA free food containers in few sizes that fit in your lunch box (XXS; XS; M; LG; XL) for condiments, pretzels, fruit, sandwich, etc.
     
  • Invest in a re-usable aluminum or BPA free water container or thermos for water, juice, milk or tea (Sigg makes some great ones)
     
  • Invest in cloth napkins. Depending on how many kids you have in school you may want to buy a bunch and distinguish them by either getting them personalized or sewing on an embellishment. For those of us who are germ-o-phobes please take a moment to compose yourself before reading the next sentence.
     
  • Have them re-use their napkin throughout the week and send it to the washing machine on Friday’s. Remember… it’s not GROSS, It’s GREEN.
     
  • I love lunch notes as much as anyone else and it simply makes my daughter's day if she gets one. This is where your home recycled paper bin can come in handy. REUSE a piece, or make use of cereal box tops or anything else you can write your sweet nothings on.
     
  • Buy in Bulk to avoid small excess packages. Fill your child’s containers every evening and pack your lunch the night before to avoid the morning rush.

Voila… You are that much closer to a greener more conscious school year for yourself and your children, You will save money, your kids will inspire other kids and parents to do the same, and imagine all the garbage you will avoid making this year! Every little bit counts.

For more earthsaver tips, visit http://www.earthsavers.typepad.com/.

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