When you think of a school lunch, what do you see? Maybe a paper bag with a sandwich inside a plastic bag, a box of juice or milk, a piece of fruit, and some cookies wrapped in plastic wrap?

What we don’t see is all the waste this lunch generates and how the non-biodegradable trash fills our landfills.

Want to make your kid’s school lunch less wasteful? Here are some tips!

1. Use a Lunch Box

The Lunchbox is not only environmentally friendly because it is reusable, but many lunch bags are also insulated which keeps food fresh. They are also easier to carry when full and are convenient for the kids to bring back home their reusable containers and utensils without losing them.

2. Reusable Containers

Use reusable containers to carry hot foods, sandwiches, and snacks. You can find them in a variety of sizes and materials, including glass, stainless steel, and BPA free plastic. All three are great alternatives to regular plastic ones, which are full of harmful chemicals that can leach into your food. Also, instead of buying juice boxes, water bottles, milk cartons or other packaged beverages, which create lots of waste, use a reusable water bottle or thermos. Glass, stainless steel or BPA free plastic bottles are great options.

3. Choose Cloth

Cloth napkins are cheaper than paper ones in the long run because they can be washed and used over and over again. They also come in a wide variety of designs so your child can choose a design he/she likes.

4. Ditch Single Use Plastic

Straws and plastic flatware use too many resources and create a lot of waste. You can just use the flatware you use at home or get a special set for school. Once they are done with their lunch they can just put the flatware back in their lunch box and send it home for washing and reusing.

5. Make it Homemade

Instead of buying bread, cookies, and cut veggies which come pre-packaged and create waste, why not make your own bread, cookies or cut up your own fresh veggies. You will keep unnecessary packaging from going to the landfill and your kids will benefit from the extra love those homemade foods have in them!

Lunchtime does not need to be wasteful! Just follow these tips to green your kids’ school lunch and in the process they can learn more about reducing waste and caring for the environment.

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