All moms worry that their children will eat two bites of their lunch and then feed the rest to the trash can. But have you ever thought about how much packaging your kids throw away, even if they eat all the goodies in their lunchbox?
Lunch time is an easy way for moms and kids to work together to waste fewer resources and save money in your home budget. Here are a few ways we’ve gone green in our family and in our school:
- Using reusable plastic containers instead of baggies. Those wonderful ziplock baggies are convenient, but a plastic container can be used time and time again. Sometimes the baggies are still an option, but for the most part I’ve transitioned my kids over to using their reusable containers. I’m sure it helps that they don their favorite cast members from “High School Musical.”
- Going old school. Metal lunch boxes are back in style and kids are showing off all of the fun designs. Neoprene bags in fun patterns and colors are great for older kids who are “too cool” to carry a lunch box. These bags can also keep hot items hot and the cold ones cold.
- Toting the liquid. Remember those old Thermoses we used to pack into our lunch box? They’ve undergone a makeover and now kids can bring water or juice to school in a reusuable and safe container. These save the environment and your wallet. Make sure if it’s made of plastic that it doesn’t contain harmful chemicals, though.
- Avoiding prepackaged goodies. Not only are these items usually full of preservatives and other harmful chemicals, they are also full of extra packaging that is wasteful. Don’t forget that you end up paying extra for all of that cardboard and plastic that is used to store your snack before you eat it. It’s more economical and environmental to buy in bulk and then redistribute into reusable containers.
- Juicing up responsibly. What kid doesn’t love a Capri Sun? But really, all of those foil pouches can take a toll on the planet unless they are recycled. Our kids’ school is now participating in a program in which it is paid a nominal amount by the manufacturer of Capri Sun for each foil pouch turned in. Everyone wins in this case: the school gets money, the kids get their juice, and the packaging is recycled. If your school doesn’t have a program like this suggest it to your PTA or organize it yourself.
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