Zero Waste Kid Lunches
Today we have our first guest post at Zero Waste Mommy. Anna Ruby and her husband create videos and podcasts for local businesses and non-profits in the lovely metropolis of Portland, OR. Which is why I’m guessing they encountered Zero Waste-preschool administrators. Yay progress! Check out their work here: moreleystudios.com
When my daughter started preschool four years ago, the parents were encouraged to pack “no waste” lunches, or lunches that do not generate any non-compostable garbage. It took me a while to wrap my head around the idea, as I was a card-carrying member of our single-serving society. A child’s school lunch can create 67 pounds of trash each year, according to the EPA.¹ That’s 4.6 billion pounds of lunch waste each year!
We can do better.
And, I promise, it is really quite simple to do:
- Put food & drinks in reusable containers
- Include reusable utensils and a cloth napkin
- Pack it all in a reusable bag or box
What do you pack in a reusable lunch box? Whatever you want! Keep it simple with a sandwich or send warm leftovers in a food jar (this one by Hydro Flask is THE. BEST. at keeping food warm).
If you don’t want to spend a bunch of money on cute containers, you can always reuse empty food containers such as small jars or plastic containers. I have an itty-bitty jar that once held jam but I’ve re-purposed it for fun stuff like baby pickles or chocolate chips. If you’re not worried about your child dropping glass, small canning jars are fantastic reusable lunch containers: try freezing a smoothie in one the night before; it defrosts just in time for lunch!
Just think: your kids are getting lessons on academics at school, but you’re also throwing in a daily lesson on how to be a good steward of the earth.
Here are two great resources for launching a No-Waste Lunch program at your child’s school: