Back-to-school season is here, and this year, it’s not just about shopping for new notebooks and pencils; it's also the perfect time to make environmentally conscious choices when it comes to your lunch supplies. Whether you’re a teacher or parent packing your child’s lunch, opting for eco-friendly lunch gear can help reduce your carbon footprint and promote a healthier planet. From reusable containers to sustainable utensils, here's a guide to help you embrace eco-friendly lunch supplies for a more sustainable school year.
Embrace Reusable Containers and Bento Boxes
Swap out single-use plastic disposable containers that typically can't be recycled and instead invest in durable and reusable containers or plant-based compostable food containers that are also highly durable and suited for hot and cold foods.
Compostable bento boxes are also an excellent option, as they allow you to compartmentalize your lunch while eliminating the need for plastic wrap or foil. They are also an amazing way to portion and organize your lunches.
Sip from Stainless Steel Water Bottles
Stay hydrated throughout the school day with a stainless steel water bottle. These bottles are not only long-lasting and sturdy, but they also help reduce the massive number of plastic water bottles that end up in landfills and waterways. Every time you refill your bottle, you keep plastic waste at bay.
Ditch Traditional Napkin and Cutlery Options for Eco-Friendly Alternatives
When packing up your eco-friendly lunch box, swap out conventional napkins and plastic cutlery for compostable options. Reusable cloth napkins can be easily washed and used again. Lunch napkins made from recycled paper are also an amazing eco-conscious alternative.
Compostable cutlery sets cut down on the need for cheaper, single-use plastic cutlery that can't be recycled. Made from sustainable materials, they can be composted in commercial composting facilities, helping lessen the need for disposable plastic cutlery, which takes hundreds of years to break down in the environment.
Utilize Beeswax Wraps for Food Storage
When packing sandwiches, snacks, or fruits, replace plastic wraps with beeswax wraps. These sustainable wraps are made from organic cotton infused with beeswax, resin, and jojoba oil, creating a pliable, reusable covering that can be molded around food items. They're a sustainable alternative that keeps your food fresh while reducing plastic waste.
Choose Compostable Snack and Sandwich Bags
If you need bags for smaller snacks, consider using compostable snack and sandwich bags. These bags are typically made from plant-based materials and can break down naturally in composting systems. They're a great option for holding nuts, crackers, and other bite-sized treats.
Choose Eco-Friendly Lunch Bags and Totes
Opt for lunch bags or totes made from eco-friendly materials like organic cotton and recycled fabrics. These options are durable and stylish, and they minimize the need for disposable brown paper bags or plastic lunch bags. Some brands even offer insulated bags that can keep your food at the right temperature without the need for wasteful ice packs.
Plan and Prep for Zero Waste
Reducing waste goes well beyond the choice of supplies. Take the time to plan your lunches to minimize food waste. Prepare just the right amount of food to avoid leftovers that might go to waste. If there are any scraps, consider composting them if your school has a composting program or invest in an at-home composting bin.
Embrace Sustainable Lunches this Back-to-School Season
Transitioning to eco-friendly lunch supplies isn't just a trend; it's a conscious effort to reduce our impact on the environment. By making simple swaps and embracing reusable options, you can significantly contribute to a cleaner planet. With every eco-friendly choice, you're not just packing a lunch – you're packing a brighter future for all.