How to Pack a Green and Healthy School Lunch

It always amazes me how fast summer ends. Kids are heading back to school next week in parts of the country 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 one made 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. Klean Kanteen is king at our house we have a few in different colors!!! Be sure to pick stainless steel bottles not alumium (many alumium bottles have a thin plastic coating inside the bottle)

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, their food containers, and their reusable water bottle.

Napkins: Pack a cloth napkin. Some kids may 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 anything (bags, containers…etc.). Find a reusable container to put these items in. I prefer the glass (check with your school to see if they have a “no glass” rule) and stainless steel containers. I use Lunchbots because even the tops are stainless steel and they last forever. Feel like you cannot part from the plastic bag? Go on Etsy and search for reusable lunch bags, there are so many amazing people there making cute bags for kids. If you eliminate plastic bags for an entire school year you have saved 180+ plastic baggies from the landfill and our ocean.

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 really love this book! The recipe for banana bread is perfect and they have so many other great ideas. I recently let my daughter flip through it and pick things out. The pictures are perfect.

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 appreciate my doodles! Paint the inside top of the lunch box with chalkboard paint and doodle something everyday, 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 and 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.

Avoid prepackaged food. If you are going to give your kids pre-made food like Oreos buy the larger container and put an individual Oreo in a reusable bag. Beside the obvious packaging issues for the environment, think of your kids health.

My usual Lunchable rant: 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 you can easily make a healthier lunchable with a stainless steel lunch bot or bento box anyway!

Photo’s courtesy of Daily Voice, Kleen Kanteen,, Go Lightly, Design Sponge, and Amazon.

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Why Do We Recycle?


As my daughter gets older I want to teach her about the environment. We read the Lorax all the time, for about 4 months and she memorized it. Recently we were at the local toy store picking out birthday gifts when I saw the book Little Pirate: Why Do We Recycle? that is part of the Little Pirate Science Made Simple series.

When I took education classes in college we learned about the importance of early childhood education and how children start to form their interests when they are very young. I realized I had to teach my kids as early as I can about environment and this book is a good but basic way to teach them.


We have read it every night this week!

It is a pretty simple book that talks about not throwing trash into the ocean. Not using paper cups and not using plastic bags


I love the part where it talks about recycling. It explains to kids what happens to the stuff that we put in all those color coded bins.

Bonus: At the end of the book it has three craft projects on reusing your old water bottle, newspaper, or shoebox.

My one complaint is that the book is a little to simplistic I think they could have taken the topic a bit further. Kids have much more capacity than this book gives them credit for.

My daughter now says when we finish the book “Reduce, Recycle, and Reuse.”

Disclaimer: has never heard of me. They did not send me this book and they have no idea I wrote this post.

11 Year Olds Thoughts on the Environment

The picture she drew a few years ago

Every year I interview my niece about what she knows and what she care about the environment. This is her thoughts this year on the environment. Read my first interview with her here.
  1. What do you learn about the environment in school? Nothing, they do not really teach us anything. They do not really care about the environment. They tell us not to use electricity if you do have to and they tell to recycle but not how to do it us how to do it. at home? Nothing really. I mean I recycle, I mean I do not really learn anything… except from you.
  2. Do you recycle at school? Yes, paper, plastic, and cans they are all in the same container and they actually sort it somewhere else. The recycling bins this year are larger than the garbage cans at home? Yes, at my Mom’s house
  3. What do you think you could do to save more water? Take shorter showers, not leave the water running for no reason
  4. Do you think you could use less electricity? Yes How? I could unplug my phone charger because it is using electricity when I am not using it, Shut of TV and lights when I am not in the room, use less air conditioning or heat
  5. Would you ever drive a small car? No, because I was told by people that if I get into an accident I am more likely to be injured or killed. I would rather be safe than save energy
  6. Which do you like better hot or cold weather? In the middle Why? I just like it in the middle
  7. What else do you do to save the environment? I try really hard to turn off the lights when I am not using them and turn off the tv when possible. I am not sure I do anything else.
  8. What animal do you think needs our help the most? I really think bees need our help. well also there is this kind of ape that there are only like 5 left Why? Bees are really an important part of our life. They make honey and how they make honey is really important for us to live
  9. Do you think you need to do more to save the environment? No because I am kid I think I can do stuff but I cannot do that much What do think should happen? If I looked it up on the internet and found ways then I would but right now I do not know how I can really make a difference
  10. Tell me as many things as you can that you use everyday made of plastic? Cups, bags, water bottle (disposable and reusable), toothbrush hairbrush, toothpaste container, shampoo, conditioner, shoes, clothing, wii remotes, phone, phone case, milk container (daily for my milk at lunch), nail polish, pens, softball and soccer gear, back pack, scissors, tv, alarm clock, night stand, stereo, hangers, Fatheads in my room, clocks, certain jewelry, makeup container, pencil box, markers, computer, and hairbands.
  11. Are you surprised how many things you listed? Yes How can you use less? buy stuff that I can reuse… refill my plastic container with stuff.

If you want to post what your kids say to these questions email me at (please note no names will be used)