Good morning! I’m so excited—today I have a story in the Home section of the Los Angeles Times about packing a greener lunch for kids. The story is focused mainly on gear and making smarter choices, ie saying “goodbye” to paper napkins, plastic baggies and disposable utensils. Check out one of Tiny G’s lunches from last week—Kids Konserve makes great mini food-grade stainless steel pots that are perfect for dips or hummus (or blueberries or any other small snacks). And then sliced strawberries and cooked organic carrots stay fresh in silicone pinch pots thanks to a resusable nontoxic ice pack. No baggies required!
Tiny G is still, well, Tiny, but for kindergarten and grade school lunches my friend Jill swears by these Lunchskins as alternatives to sandwich and snack bags and is always getting asked about them by other parents. They can go straight into the dishwasher and are lead-free and BPA-free. Love the designs:
But perhaps the biggest step you can take toward reducing waste in your kid’s lunchbox is to look for alternatives to “snack size” or individual portions of yogurt, applesauce, etc. In the end, buying in bulk is better for the environment and better for your wallet! String cheese seems to be the biggest offender, so I buy an 8-ounce block of organic mozzarella and cube up a few pieces for Tiny G’s lunch (see above). Or, think about buying a 27-ounce container of yogurt and scooping out an individual-sized portion into resusable Tupperware. When researching this story I was kind of blown away by the EPA stat that the average school-age kid (K-12) generates 67 lbs of lunchtime waste each year—that’s over 110 million pounds in LA County schools alone! For more info on packing waste-free, check out wastefreelunches.org and for eco-friendly gear visit greenmylunchbox.com.
Please feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any gear-related questions because between myself and my neighbor, jewelry designer Dana Kellin McCrane, we have researched most of these brands and can provide pro/con feedback on a lot of these items!