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Are you ready to return back to school? Do you have an eco friendly lunch box ready to pack? There is so much waste with packing lunches to go. Let’s dive in and review some different options and the best ways to reduce waste.
Reducing Waste in the Lunch Box
Plastic bags are often found in a lunch box. It makes it easy and the child can just dispose of it after lunch.
If you look at all the prepackaged lunch foods, from small carrot sticks, individual bags of grapes or other fruits, string cheese, snack bags, chips… there are so many plastic bags!
Reusable Lunch Box
Do you pack in a brown paper bag or lunch sak? That is how I grew up taking my lunch to school daily. A turkey sandwich in a plastic bag with fruit, chips, or granola bar in a brown paper bag was my everyday go-to.
There are so many lunch boxes available online. First, I would decide on what type of foods you will be packaging and which containers you will be using, then decide on the reusable lunch bag. That way you will know for sure if the reusable food containers will fit.
Reusable Food Containers for an Eco Friendly Lunch Box
There are so many options it can be overwhelming when looking for the best lunch boxes for the school year.
I spent more time than I would like to admit researching the most eco friendly lunch box that is best for our family’s needs. It is no surprise I am loving the Planet Box.
When looking for eco friendly, try to find food grade stainless steel. Stainless steel will last a long time. You will not have to worry about harmful chemicals leaching into your foods as plastic containers do.
Previously, I was using Rubbermaid plastic containers. I loved the separate compartments. Once I learned more about the harmful chemicals that could potentially leach in the foods and witnessed how fast they needed to be replaced I searched for a more sustainable option.
I purposely included the picture above since it has string cheese wrapped individually. I want you to know I am not perfect, but that is what is great. We can make an impact by being imperfect. Please do not get stuck on all or nothing, but doing what you can where you can to reduce single plastic use.
The Planet Box
The Planet Box is my absolute favorite stainless steel lunch box. These bento boxes are made with food grade stainless. They offer three different sizes for kids of every age.
The different compartments encourage you to pack variety of lunches. There are smaller silicone compartments that can fit in to mix it up and pack even more variety. This has been the best option I could find to fit our needs in a school lunch box.
I wanted an eco friendly lunch box that was sustainable, had different compartments, encouraging variety, and waste-free lunch, while still being able to pack some of their favorite foods.
Currently, my kids are 9, 6, and 4 years old. The 9-year-old uses the Rover Stainless Steel Lunchbox. While the 6- and 4-year-olds use the Basic Shuttle Stainless Steel option.
The compartments are not air tight so it is not ideal for liquids. They do also sell snack containers that can fit in the compartments and have a tight silicone seal. The Planet box does not have a removable divider. As mentioned above they do have silicone containers that can fit into different compartments.
The Planet Box has some great accessories you can add, such as a water bottle, ice pack, silverware, and organic cotton cloth napkins.
These stainless steel lunch boxes come with a hefty price tag, but it includes a 5-year warranty. They are also dishwasher safe so an easy clean up. Typically, I hand wash the containers because we usually don’t have room in the dishwasher. Every now and then I do run it through the dishwasher and it comes out clean as new.
The Planet Box comes with a variety of magnets. This allows you to personalize and make it a fun eco friendly lunch box for your kids. I do not use the magnets since they are removed to wash and it is just one more step. I am also about ease and efficiency… sorry kids!
They also have a variety of reusable bags. They come in a variety of colors and different designs. Be sure you purchase the correct size bag for the reusable lunch container.
My oldest also uses the Rover Carry bag. It works well for him so he can pack his school snack in the front pocket. He also slips his reusable water bottle in the outside pocket.
The 6- and 4-year-old who take the Basic Shuttle Stainless Steel option carry it in their Pottery Barn lunch bag. I plan to switch to the Shuttle Carry Bag when it is time to upgrade.
I did purchase the capsule water bottle for my oldest. Unfortunately, we had to replace the top lid after 2 years so we prefer different reusable water bottles for school.
Planet Box offers sales a few times a year. Usually before school starts and around Black Friday. This is when I try to grab extra accessories because as I mentioned it is expensive. The lifetime of this eco friendly lunch box is totally worth the investment for everyday use.
Other Eco Friendly Lunch Box Options
Finding plastic-free lunchboxes can be challenging when trying to focus on sustainable practices. Below are a few other friendly lunch boxes. The following brands look like great solutions to an eco friendly lunch box.
Both of the suggestions below are making a difference one lunch at a time with their reusable products. The companies listed below were both created by a mom looking for a solution to reduce the toxins in their child’s lunch box.
Please note I have not tried either the Lunch Bot or Eco Lunch Box. So I can’t personally speak for using them, but I love what both these companies stand for.
These stainless steel bento boxes have been helping moms pack healthy lunches since 2008. Lunch Bot guarantees they will last from preschool to college, which is impressive.
Lunch Bots encourage a zero waste lunch. They make it easy to pack a variety of foods that your kids will eat.
LunchBots Large Cinco Stainless Steel Lunch Container
Eco Lunch Box
Eco Lunch Box is healthy for people and the planet. It is a certified B Corp and was founded in 2008 by a California eco mom. They also have a variety of accessories, such as stainless-steel straws, cloth napkins, bamboo utensils, and other high-quality items.
The Eco Lunch Box did a really neat study comparing the cost savings of packing lunches compared to using throw away items. It is pretty eye opening how much you could save!
Eco Friendly Snack Containers
When searching to reduce waste and find a sustainable option. Other eco friendly options would be Stasher Bags and Beeswax Wrap. Both of these items provide a solution for reducing plastic waste.
Stasher bags can be found in Target, Amazon, and directly on their website. They come in a variety of colors and sizes. They have a snack bag that is perfect to take a snack on the go for little kids.
These are reusable and resealable bags that are easy to clean in the dishwasher or hand wash. It is important to make sure they dry completely before storing. These bags are a great green friendly option to reduce plastic use.
Beeswax Wrap is a cloth wax wrap used in place of saran wrap. It can be used to wrap a snack or sandwich. This makes it easy to pack in a lunch box or take on the go. They are a great way to reduce plastic waste.
Are you convinced to change to an Eco Friendly Lunch Box?
Let’s aim to reduce our plastic use this school season. The Planet Box is my favorite stainless steel lunch container for accomplishing a more eco-friendly lunch box. There are great other brands with stainless steel lunch boxes and reusable products working towards the same mission of reducing plastic use and creating a sustainable lunch box.
Do you have suggestions for other ways to go plastic-free with school lunch?