Well… it’s back-to-school time. Wait. (blink, blink.) I thought it was still June.
Unfortunately…no. I’ve been desperately working on getting in the school mode, but I’m just in such denial that my sweet “baby” girl is going to be gone, all day, five days a week!
We’ve had major discussions about lunchtime and what she would like me to pack. Our school is so-so on nutritious meals, but our daughter has chosen to be a “brown bagger.” However, that’s in name only because we’ve taken lots of steps to insure that she won’t be creating too much waste at lunchtime. In fact, an interesting little stat I found on Greenopia: “An average kid using disposable lunch wrappers generates 67 pounds of waste per school year.”… YIKES!
So, to our “low-/no-waste” lunch plan.
Buy a lunchbox. There are so many cool ones to choose from, kids can certainly find one to love. Buy a reusable bottle and/or thermo. No matter what beverage you choose, it will accommodate…and there won’t be any disposable bottles/boxes to throw away later. No paper napkins. A quick stop at the dollar store and we have cloth napkins to last her a week. Buy a cheap set of silverware. No need to toss plastic in the trash daily. Or, if you use plastic, wash & reuse. NO Ziplocs or plastic baggies. Like I mentioned before, I bought a bunch of small containers for the kids’ foods and snacks, so these will accompany her to school each day!
I was concerned that within the course of weeks the containers, thermoses, etc. would get left behind at school and never find their way back to us, but I discovered a great product from Stuck On You. They are vinyl name labels that can be placed on all of these items and they are waterproof, microwave- and dishwasher-safe (so you won’t be replacing name labels with every washing!). Our daughter’s are pink with flowers and she LOVES them. They have tons of other great products too (labels, tags, and a great starter pack) if you want to check them out.
So, as I venture into a teary-eyed send-off to our daughter, I at least know that when the year ends, there won’t be 67 lbs. of trash in a local landfill with her name on it.