Some of the country is heading back to school now and there are some great things you can get to “green” your kids lunches:
Lunch box. Old Navy actually has some awesome metal lunchboxes, my daughter has a Hello Kitty “Go Green” one. Do not use a plastic one but a metal one or of recycled materials (follow the link for some cool bags).
Drinks: Do not waste money and resources by purchasing juice or milk boxes. Think of the packaging: Plastic straws, the plastic they wrap it in and the actual container. You can save money and control what they drink by putting your kids drinks in a reusable water bottle. For those of you who read my blog regularly you probably feel like this is a broken record but it makes a HUGE difference. This is one of the best things you can do for the environment. My niece loves my Sigg and they make Sigg water bottles for kids. Here is a link to some really cool Sigg bottles or Klean Kanteen also has some great bottles (especially for the little kids)!!!
Utensils: Pack utensils for them. I carry a set around with me in my purse and it really helps me be green on the go. It is just as easy to put them into the dishwasher at night with the dinner dishes and their reusable water bottle.
Napkins: Pack a cloth napkin. Some kids admittedly will not go for this one… but see how they feel about it. Being green is in right now so they might be game for it. If you are crafty make them cool ones that their friends will be jealous of here is a great tutorial from The Purl Bee!
Containers: Do not put food in plastic baggies. Find a reusable container to put these items in. I prefer the glass and stainless steel containers. I use Lunchbots because even the tops are stainless steel and they last forever. Unfortunately, the easiest and safest ones are plastic but if you use them for an entire school year I have to think that is better than 180+ plastic baggies.
Food: I highly recommend The Lunch Box: Loaded with Fun, Healthy Meals to Go. It is a great book with tons of great recipes. I recently purchased it when I was running out of ideas or my 2 year old.
Note: My Mom never did this but I am sure I will do it when my kids are old enough to read or at least apperciate my doodles! Put a fun note in their lunch, it does not always have to be lovey dovey it can be funny like a joke, random fact or some silly short story about when you were in school!
My most important recommendation is to buy a double set for each kid if you can. Sometimes your dishwasher just is not full at night or you forget. The fastest way to stop being green is to be lazy, it is commitment, so to meet yourself halfway if you get two of what you need you will not have trouble sticking to it. Honestly you will save a ton of money in the long run.
Buy them organic and locally grown food. Even if it is just for a few weeks try to get to the farmers market before they go away for the winter and get some locally grown food.
Do not buy prepackaged food. Beside the obvious packaging issues for the environment, think of your kids health. Really read the label of a Lunchable… it is a disgrace and we wonder why kids have health problems… Sorry I have VERY strong opinions about Lunchables!