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Start with one small step – and go from there. Here are some ideas to start with:
• Eliminate the plastic sandwich bag and use a WRAP-N-MAT or Happy-Sacks Sandwich Sack
• Use a reusable bottle or thermos instead of juice boxes
• Double recipes when you cook, then freeze the extra in small containers for lunches
• Prepare fresh vegetables and fruits for the next day's lunch as you cook your evening meal
• Use leftovers from dinner as is or as a starting point for a lunch entreé
Leftover meatloaf can be packed as is or turned into a meatloaf sandwich! Start small, and with each change you will see how easy it can be. Check out the Resources page for more helpful tips.
Yes! On average, waste-free lunches cost 1/3 less. Your savings may be even higher, depending on your current buying habits.
Why? Purchasing food or beverages in bulk is always cheaper; individually-wrapped portions cost substantially more.
If you add up all the paper and plastic bags you send out over the course of a year, it’s much cheaper to get a cloth bag or long-lasting lunchbox and a WRAP-N-MAT or storage containers you’ll use again and again. Reducing waste is better for the environment, too.
Going waste-free can actually increase your food options! During your evening meal preparations, you can clean and prepare raw veggies and fruits for the next day’s lunch. If you cook a little more than you’ll need for your evening meal, the leftovers can be turned into the next day’s lunch.
• With a Thermos Leak-Proof Food Jar you can send your child off with a full, nutritious portion of hot soup or pasta
• With a Laptop Lunch Bento Set, you can offer a variety of veggies, proteins and carbs
• Our Laptop Lunch User’s Guide provides more fresh ideas, tips for picky eaters, and kid-friendly recipes
There’s a misconception out there that kids don’t like healthier food. It’s just not true. You can actually help your kids develop healthy food habits, rather than getting them used to high-salt, high-fat and high-sugar packaged foods.
• Involve your kids in the process: take a few minutes each evening with your child to pack up a lunchbox full of fun, colorful foods. You’ll find more food gets eaten and less brought home (or thrown away).
• Work together for an hour or so on the weekend to prep foods for the week in freezer packs. Make a game of it while you educate your kids about what’s good for their growing bodies. With effort invested in the process, children are less likely to waste food.
Check the websites on our Resources link for recipes and helpful hints on packing fun, tasty, and nutritious lunches for your kids.
Not at all! Working parents can go waste-free for their own on-the-job lunches… families can bring snacks or meals on the road…Parents can pack food for baby. Waste-free lunches are fun! Get your whole family involved – packing lunches at home saves money and resources and can improve everyone's diet. See our Resources links for recipes and meal preparation suggestions!
Yes, we believe in investing in our community, and appreciate the opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of a waste-free lunch at your next event. If you make a purchase but don’t have a favorite non-profit, we donate 10% of our gross returns to www.donorschoose.org. Please suggest your favorite non-profit and we will consider adding it.
How much could you save by going waste-free with your child’s lunches? Let's do the math:
Disposable Lunch: $4.02 /day or $723.60 /year
Waste-Free Lunch: $2.65 /day or $477.00 /year
You save: $246.60 per year – that’s 1/3 of your food budget! As you can see, you’ll quickly recoup what you invest in reusable lunchboxes, bottles, and other food packaging containers.
The average child’s lunchtime trash totals up to 67 pounds per school year. For the average elementary school, that’s almost 10 tons a year – just from lunchbox waste!
(Source: NY State Department of Conservation)