School’s returning this week, which means your kids will need some lunch (though I suppose that isn’t different from most other days). Packing a lunch is a necessity if they’re attending in-person, but I know a lot of remote friends who are still filling a lunch-box in the morning because it makes things easier and allows for meals away from home.
So what’s inside ours? Here’s a peek of what I pack for my kids:
Cut-up fruits, veggies, cheddar bunnies and nuts. Yes, the cheddar bunnies come in packaging. I recycle the box and then keep the plastic for when I need a ziploc-style bag. You’ll find that if you start saving a lot of packaging – bread bags, chips bags etc- you can reuse them and won’t need to buy any single-use baggies from the store. I also used to buy a lot of those applesauce pouches for my kids because they’re easy and the girls liked them. However reducing food packaging is one zero-waste goal I currently have, so I stopped buying them a few months ago. Cut-up fruit it is! And guess what, my girls eat the apples and barely miss the pouches! Plus it saves money.
Most of my friends have heard me talk about paper products, especially how easy it is to reduce the use of them. First step? No more paper napkins! I purchased these cute little napkins at Bonafide and send them every day. The girls like them, they produce no trash and it’s never too early to teach some table manners! I also bought some cheap spoons and send those too. No need for plastic utensils. If they get lost, no big deal. (Note – don’t do what I did and send silverware you like. At some point, one item won’t come back and your set will be sadly missing a piece.)
And here’s the rest. I bet you notice the cheese-stick. Life happens and we are humans trying to feed little humans or even ourselves! To be honest, I’m not even sure the cheese will be eaten, which might amount to food waste as well. But we will keep trying to improve! Within the past year, our family has reduced or eliminated our use of juice boxes, pouches and yogurt tubes. I’m trying to buy more in bulk, focus on recyclable packaging like cardboard or glass, and swap serving-sized containers for larger tubs of things like yogurt. Remember – we don’t all need to do zero-waste perfectly to help the earth. Even small steps, like tackling your lunchbox trash, will help! – Rachel