How To Create a Green Back-to-School Lunch Box

When it is time to go back to school after the long holiday, parents everywhere will be busy buying new clothes and books for the new school year. Back to school means that it is time to start thinking about preparing and packing lunches for our children once more. While, historically, it was convenient to use plastic baggies or other containers that children could throw away after use, these days, parents are looking for more cost-effective and eco-friendly alternatives.

There is no doubt that as parents we want to provide the best for our children and in most cases, a homemade meal meets our children’s nutritional needs. Besides that, it is cheaper and less likely to result in common food allergies because you, as the mother, would know what not to include in your children’s meals. Aside from making the right decisions on behalf of our children, we also are educating them about what is good for the environment as a whole, and how to preserve the world they will live in. Making small choices that help put together a green back-to-school lunch box with our children will contribute towards reducing the harmful effects that chemicals and not biodegradable materials have on the environment and our kids.

There is already so much that finds its way into our natural environmental resources — water and the air we breathe – it’s helpful to take small measures to reduce the damage and get our kids involved. Here are some ways to create a Green Back-to-School Lunchbox.

  • If you pack food that needs to be warmed in the microwave, use microwavable ceramic or glass dishes, instead of plastic, which can leach chemicals when heated.
  • Most prepackaged foods are packaged in containers that are made from plastics or other non-biodegradable materials. Reduce or avoid these where possible. To save money, reduce additives and sugars and avoid the disposable packaging, try this Easy No Bake Energy Ball recipe or check out my Recipe Page for other ideas.
  • Consider stainless steel lunch boxes, which children can customize by attaching magnets on them. I love Lunchbots for my kids. They were a bit of an investment, but I found that plastic lunchboxes wore out and often had to be replaced. I have had my Lunchbots for 3 years, use them daily and they are still in new condition. I also have containers and bags from ECOlunchbox and I love these products too for great bento boxes and dip containers.
  • Food wraps that are made from re-washable cotton and polyester blends, or Tupperware laptop lunch boxes which can be folded into portable sizes, are also great ideas.
  • A good stainless steel water bottle is a great investment. Think of both the cost and waste of juice boxes that add up over the year. You can make water fun by adding fruit like citrus for extra vitamin C and digestive support. Check out these easy and fun fruit infused waters for ideas.

If you are not sure about materials to use to pack food for your children? Or what chemicals you want to avoid and why? Check out the center for justice for resources on supplies for school children and links to where moms can find green alternatives for everything from lunchboxes, containers to school supplies. There are many companies on the market that have embraced the manufacturing of eco-friendly back to school lunchbox kits. I was impressed by the many popular grocery store brands that have made big changes to their products, which is great for consumers.

I hope you find these ideas useful to get you started. If there are other products you love for your kids lunchbox, send me a comment or contact me. I always love learning and sharing with other mom’s.