August 7, 2007

school lunch

It may still be summer, but the start of school is quickly approaching. I thought it might be fun to do a series with some options for greener lunches.

Whatever the lunch is packed in (box, bag or basket) the food needs some kind of protection. Instead of plastic ziplock bags, I like using Natural Value's unbleached, natural, waxed paper bags. I pack sandwiches, baby carrots, sliced apples, or even pretzels and dried fruit in them. If they don't get too messy they can be reused a few times.

The box says they are "Non-toxic when incinerated, landfill safe and will not contaminate ground water." I'm still checking to see if they can be composted (I think so).

When looking for the product online I found a link on the greenguide about these bags. They say they, "prefer using reusable containers whenever possible, but a waxed paper sandwich bag might just come out ahead of its all-plastic cousin in a life cycle analysis."

I'll have more tips on containers and packs as we get closer to school starting. If you have favorite tricks for greening the lunch box, let me know.

p.s. This is mom go green's 100 post! Hooray! Maybe I should start categorizing my entries? Yikes.


Gift of Green said...

Congratulations on your 100th post - so glad I found you! And love this green lunch series you're doing...I need all the help I can get.

Behan said...

I have a favorite to add for you: skip the disposable sandwich wrapper altogether, and go for one of these "wrap-mat" re-usable sandwich bags. They're really great, and work for much more than just sandwiches!

Unknown said...

I use all reusable containers for my kids' lunches. Last year before school started, I bought aluminum SIGG snack boxes and drink bottles from, plus a couple of stainless steel vacuum food jars. Those plus reusing the plastic bulk food containers from New Seasons and my kids have waste-free lunches every day. The boxes are great for a sandwich, whole piece of fruit or some veggies, and even a little tiny container for dressing, dip, raisins, whatever. I am always amazed at how much will fit in there! When I have to use a bag, I do use those brown wax paper bags, and I get my kids to bring them home so we can reuse them until they fall apart.

mom go green said...

I agree, using a reusable container is a good thing. I use stainless steel containers I got from Daiso (see my most on them, "containers from daiso")

I did confirm with our garbage company and the waxed paper bags can be composted. They never goes to the landfill that way! But they do take energy to produce, so reusable is probably best.

Mary Beth said...

My gripe with reusable (plastic) containers is that they are a nightmare in (and coming out of) the dishwasher. I'd be open to trying the wax paper bags--I'll look for them. And I'm going to check out the links for non-metal aluminum containers. I love glass, but that's not practical of course for a school lunch.

Krista said...

This is my first time to your site, it is full of great information. My question is would you recommened using items from Tupperware? I am new at the "Green" thing and wondering your thoughts. Thanks