There’s so much waste with packed lunches! Instead, I’m trying to ditch disposables and use more eco-friendly, reusable alternatives.
Earlier this week Tiffany gave us ideas for 5 easy real food lunches. This is the very first year that I’ll be packing school lunches, and I’m actually excited!
My 6-year-old will be starting kindergarten at a university model school in just two weeks. She will attend classes on campus three days per week and be homeschooled two days per week–so that means I will be packing three lunches each week.
Our 6-year journey to living a more natural lifestyle has definitely influenced us in wanting to produce less waste. With this in mind, we’ve collected some essentials for packing a waste-free lunch.
Check out these 9 essentials for packing a waste-free lunch:
1. Reusable Lunch Box/Bag
Our little girl LOVES butterflies, so she will be using this super cute butterfly lunch bag set. The set came with everything I need to pack her lunch, including a recycled cotton lunch sack that can be machine washed!
2. Cloth Snack/Sandwich Bags
I love the fun designs of these cloth snack and sandwich bags from Mighty Nest. These function the same exact way as plastic snack/sandwich bags, but you don’t have to keep buying them, and they are waste-free! (Check out even more fun patterns here.)
3. Ice Pack Cover
I was so excited to get this sweat-free ice pack cover to use for my daughter’s lunches. Since the school does not have a refrigerator for the children to use, keeping her food cool with an ice pack will be a must! This will eliminate food waste because the food will be less likely to go bad since the ice pack will keep it cool.
4. Stainless Steel Straws
So these may not be 100% essential, but they are just plain fun, and I had been wanting to get some for a while! These stainless steel straws will last for a very long time, and I would much prefer stainless to plastic!
5. Stainless or Glass Containers
Our daughter’s butterfly lunch kit came with some stainless containers that we will be using for her lunches, but these glass ones are also surprisingly sturdy. As she gets older, I will probably use a mix of both stainless and glass containers to pack her lunches.
6. Reusable Utensils
This set of bamboo utensils is very nice and durable. And I love that I won’t have to keep re-buying utensils throughout the school year.
7. Bento Boxes
Bento boxes can be used alone, or smaller ones can fit inside reusable lunch boxes and bags. I love that the sections easily eliminate the need for separate baggies.
8. Reusable Sandwich Wraps
Called Food Kozy’s, these actually wrap around sandwiches like wax paper or plastic wrap would–but they are waste-free!
9. Stainless Steel Thermos
My little girl’s butterfly lunch bag set came with a super cute butterfly thermos, but I also love this stainless steel thermos. With stainless steel, you do not have to worry about the toxins often present in plastics, like BPA, and thermoses can be used for both beverages and soups.
MightyNest: where living healthy supports your school
All of the items for my little girl’s waste-free lunch (sans the food!) came from Mighty Nest. I am excited to support this company because they give back to schools and specialize in non-toxic and green home essentials!
To kick off the back-to-school season MightyNest is launching the “Let’s Do Lunch” campaign to inspire equipping our kids for a year of love-packed lunches.
As always MightyNest pledges to give 15% of every purchase back to your school. They have carefully curated the best selection of reusable lunch gear and water bottles that all meet rigorous criteria for safety and practicality. Shopping at MightyNest for back to school literally gives back to your school.
Don’t see your child’s school on the list? My daughter’s school wasn’t either, but Mighty Nest quickly added it when I emailed them, so now my purchases go directly toward her school as well!
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Mighty Nest. Thank you for supporting my site!
I suddenly wish I had kids to pack lunches for. =)
Maybe I’ll just purchase this for me and the hubs.
*high fives* all around!
Haha, Erin! I think it would be amazing to take to work as well!
I’ve never heard of Mighty Nest before. They sound like a great company. We use reusable containers but I absolutely love these.
These would be great for my child’s and/or my lunches!
I think these would be great for day trips with the family! I like not having to buy plastic bags.
My kids don’t have cafeterias at their schools, I’m always looking for ways to save money and make their lunches fun and interesting. Thanks for the ideas.