For the past two years my children have been given an annual Science Day challenge to bring a lunch to school that leaves zero-waste. The class that created the least amount of trash at the end of lunch won a prize, so the kids took it quite seriously– for the day. As their mom, I took it as a personal challenge to clean up the three lunch boxes I prepare daily and to see that the kids carry the ideal throughout the year.
As efforts to go green spread from the home to public initiatives, schools throughout the country are starting eco-friendly lunch policies to help reduce the amount of waste produced at lunch time. A little reading turned up the fact that the average kid can create up to 67 lbs of lunchtime waste a year, which is pretty scary when you think that they’ll be doing the school lunch routine for 13 years! Multiplying that out to every child in America (and beyond) and you can see how any change in habit could help. In our house, the kids pick a lunchbox at the beginning of the year that I clean, use a mishmash of reusable plastic containers for the food and send them with reusable plastic sporks every day, but I haven’t quite weaned myself completely off of the ubiquitous plastic resealable bag. They’re just so easy when the rest of the tupperware is dirty or I can’t locate a matching lid!
Apparently, I’ve been getting off easy. Some moms are getting flack from their children to go green as peer pressure at the lunch table mounts at school. According to Julie Corbett, an Oakland, Ca. mom, the prospect of having to go to school with a ziploc baggy in their lunch box is enough to wreck her kids’ entire morning, per an interview with the NY Times.
One of the main concerns families may have about going green is the up-front cost of all the reusable gear, but in the long run it can actually be cost-effective as you no longer have to buy plastic baggies or brown paper bags (does anyone really still use those?). And, as with everything, you can spend as much or as little as your wallet affords. We put together a list that covers the latest in eco-friendly lunch bags, utensils, and containers that will make any parent happy to make brown bags and plastic baggies a thing of the past. In fact, you can get everything reusable, from the spork to the napkin.
Read more posts by Amy Windsor aka @theBitchinWife:
Humorous Toddler Tshirts: Merely Inappropriate to Downright Offensive
Why We Need To Encourage Our Boys’ Friendships
Ten Ways to Tighten Your Gucci Belt In a Bear Market
Improve your kids’ snack habits with these Healthy Kids Lunch Ideas!