By the time your child finishes high school, he or she will have eaten around 2,340 school lunches. That's a lot of baggies and other pieces of plastic thrown in the trash. A more earth friendly lunch is definitely possible, and in the long run it can save you money, too.
The Main Event
Let’s start with the sandwich. Putting it in a baggie or wrapping it in plastic isn’t the only way to go. There are many reusable sandwich bag options that are durable and easy to clean. Or consider Bee’s Wrap a reusable, rinsable wrap made from cotton and beeswax. It’s also great for covering bowls of leftovers in the fridge or wrapping the other half of the onion you didn’t use.
Snacks and sides, like crackers, fruit slices and carrots don’t have to go into baggies, either. The same reusable sandwich bags come in snack size. Small stainless steel containers are great for squishy items, like grapes, as well as dips and sauces. Or get rid of all the plastic baggies in one go by using a stainless steel lunch box with compartments for a sandwich, snacks and dips.
Now that the sandwich and snacks are plastic free, it’s time to move on to the other main offender in the packed lunch: the juice box. The box may seem to be made of cardboard, but it has a plastic lining. And of course, there’s the straw. Those reusable water bottles we keep talking about also have a place in the lunch box.
And what about utensils? Sometimes they don’t make it back home so you go with plastic. We get it. Instead, purchase inexpensive individual utensils and use them just for lunches. They can be found for less than a dollar each at most Big Box stores.
The great thing about evicting plastic from the lunchbox is that it will save you money in the long run. Not having to buy plastic baggies, wraps and juice boxes will quickly make up for any investment you make in plastic free containers. And these options work well not just for school lunches, but lunches at work, picnics or anywhere you bring food on the go!