It’s back-to-school time again, as can be seen from the lines at supply stores, and children walking around with their lists of items to purchase, not to mention the prominent new backpacks displays and stores touting ‘back to school specials’. While the focus is on buying new, some moms are wondering how they can decrease waste and reuse what they have. One way is by minimizing waste associated with making children’s school lunches.
Using one time use lunch packaging, or pre-packaged meals, such as the beloved “Lunchable”, is a matter of convenience and habit. However, hardly any busy mother stops to think about the waste these products create. The typical American school kid creates 67 pounds of discarded school lunch packaging waste per school year. That’s a lot of plastic and paper in the landfills! It is time to push the brown bags and paper napkins aside for reusable packaging.
The waste created by school lunch packaging fills our landfills and garbage incinerators with plastics, and create hazardous emissions. Plastics can also leach chemicals into the food, and can actually hurt the children that the lunches were made for in the first place. So while shopping for a new Spiderman backpack or a new school outfit, consider buying reusable drink and food containers, cloth napkins and metal silverware, as well as lunchboxes. This will not only help the environment, but also help your wallet and keep your kids safer in the long run. Some fun options include lead-safe lunch bags, Laptop Lunches, Citizenpip, stainless steel boxes, LunchSkins, and Wrap-N-Mat. There are many alternatives out there once you start looking, and your child will enjoy having a fun lunch box or sandwich wrap instead of a brown paper bag to bring to school. Cloth napkins and silverware also make lunch feel more like a ‘real’ meal.