The start of the school year is just around the corner and that means going back to packing snacks and lunches for your kid everyday. Using paper and plastic products for lunch everyday for the whole year will equal up to a lot of garbage in a landfill and that’s the last thing we want for the environment. And since a lot of schools have instituted litterless lunch policies, gone are the days of the Ziploc bag.
Packing litter less lunches is not only good for the environment, but it helps teach kids about healthier eating habits too. We’ve rounded up some of the best products that will help lower your impact on the environment and make your kid look super cool.
Utensils and Carrying Set
Plastic utensils are flimsy and break easily, and ones from home sometimes never make it back again. Make lost spoons a thing of the past with this cute and convenient set from Pottery Barn. The spoon and fork set are stainless steel and the plastic container is BPA-free. All three pieces are dishwasher safe and come in five fun colours with a cute striped design. The small size makes it convenient for any lunch bag or backpack and thanks to the container, this set is sure to make it home every night. (From $14, available at Pottery Barn Kids)
Sometimes, kids hate it when their food touches (it’s icky, I feel you). So make sure everything stays in its place with this Partitioned Rectangle Container from Stenlock. This container is made from the best quality stainless steel and is BPA and EDC free. The airtight seal means nothing will spill and the stainless steel is easy to clean. Stenlock products don’t retain odours and are also stain resistant, meaning they’ll stay clean and fresh for years to come. (From $16, available at Stenlock)
Cloth Snack and Sandwich Bags
Pre-packaged snacks and plastic baggies from home leave a lot of litter in the classroom and on the playground. Cut back on waste with these cute and colourful zippered snack and sandwich bags from SaritaBaby’s Etsy shop. The bags are made of a cotton exterior and BPA-free nylon interior, so they can be easily cleaned by hand or in the washing machine. (Don’t put them in the dryer though!) Fun prints like mermaids, bowties and foxes are a cute addition to any lunch bag and you can even get a matching set, complete with a 100 per cent cotton napkin. (From $10, available at SaritaBaby)
Nothing says fancy more than a fancy cloth napkin. Drape it elegantly over your lap to feel like the epitome of sophistication. OK, maybe we’re pushing it, but still, cloth napkins are a great addition to any lunch bag and it’s even better when they’re eco-friendly. Funkins offers 100 percent cotton napkins that come in a wide range of fun colours and patterns. Funkins are great alternative to paper tissues and towels and can easily wipe clean messy fingers and dirty table tops and because they’re washable, you can use them again and again. (From $6.75, available at myfunkins.com)
Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Schools are the graveyard of plastic bottles, juice boxes and juice pouches. A few sips of their lukewarm drink and then the box finds its way to the nearest garbage can (and hopefully not the soccer field). Eliminate all that waste with the S’well Stainless Steel water bottle. Insulated to keep your hot drinks hot and your cold drinks cold, its small size is perfect for kids and their lunch bags. The bottle won’t condensate either, which means homework and books will stay dry. The different colours and prints mean you can try matching one to your lunch bag, or let the kids pick out a style they love. (From $34.50, available at Well.ca)
Long gone are the days of taking your lunch to school in a brown paper bag, with the top rolled down so you can carry along with you. Feeling nostalgic? Thankfully the President’s Choice Buckle Lunch Bag is here to give your kids that same experience but with a modern twist. This cute lunch bag is shaped just like old-school paper bags, with a handle for easier carrying and cute buckle to keep everything inside. Just like the good old days, but with less waste. (From $8, available in-stores at Loblaws and Real Canadian Superstores)