It’s back-to-school time, which means your kids’ backpacks have pulled out of the closet and filled with trapper keepers, Yikes! pencils, Pee Chee folders, and five or six of those sweet RSVP pens that you can pass notes in.
Ok, clearly I went to school in the 90’s. Things have probably changed a bit since then…
One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is school lunches—more specifically, the waste created by school lunches.
Plastic sandwich bags, aluminum foil, juice boxes, plastic utensils, single serving and all the other materials that make up the average student’s sack lunch create a lot of trash. In fact, its estimated that the average school-age child who brings their lunch to school generates around 67 pounds of waste per school year!* That amount of waste is bad for the environment and hard on your wallet.
You can do the earth and your wallet a favor this year by packing waste-free lunches for your child. Follow these tips below, then check out a couple of our favorite waste-free lunch resources.
Waste-Free Lunch Tips
- Swap the brown paper bag for a lunchbox or a reusable cloth bag.
- Skip the juice boxes—reusable water bottles are a smart replacement.
- Forget the single-serving snack packs—petite snack containers can carry the same small amount and be used over and over again.
- Avoid packing paper napkins. Cloth napkins can be washed and reused.
- Instead of plastic sandwich bags, wrap sandwiches in a cloth wrapper, or pack them in a reusable container with a lid on it.
For more waste-free lunch tips, check out a few of our favorite resources:
- Global Stewards Sustainable Living Tips: Pack a Waste Free Lunch
- Kitchen Stewardship: 10 Tips to Pack Brilliant Eco-Friendly School Lunches (& Avoid Wasting Food)
- US EPA: Pack a Waste-Free Lunch