We’re Ready to Go Back to School

Although summer is starting to cool down, we have big plans for the month of August – it’s time to go back to school! 2020 has been a year of twists and turns, but with many schools planning to open back up in the fall, BARC is here to help you pack healthy zero-waste lunches for you and your kids.

How Can I Pack a Zero-Waste Lunch?

Here are some reusable products we recommend for packing the perfect zero-waste lunch:

1. Food containers:

These containers by LunchBots are great for keeping your food separate and in their own compartment. They are stainless steel, lightweight, have many size options, and are very sustainable. Customer reviews on these products mention that they last for years, unlike a lot of plastic containers.

2. Reusable snack bags:

Ziploc and plastic bags are handy, but create such a great amount of waste. Most people do not wash out these plastic baggies, they simply throw them away when they finish their snack. These reusable and fun snack and sandwich bags by Art of Lunch are great for the environment, easy to clean, certified food-safe and seals with an easy-open zipper; not to mention they are bright and colorful! They have a few sizes for all your lunch packing needs.

3. Dressing/condiment containers:

Instead of spending money on tiny disposable plastic to-go containers of dressing, we have the reusable alternative! Lunchbots also offers 1.5 oz size round containers for dips! The will fit perfectly in your large Lunchbot containers and even come with silicone lids to eliminate spillage.

4. Liquid food containers:

Lunchbots seems to be the name of the game for zero-waste lunches. Their stainless steel 4 oz. leakproof containers are perfect for applesauce, yogurt, salsa, or any other liquid based snack. The reviews are high and they eliminate waste from “on-the-go” packaging.

5. Utensils:

If you aren’t sticking to just finger foods in your packed lunches this year, silverware is necessary. You can definitely pack your regular kitchen silverware in your kid’s lunch, but a fun alternative to avoid plastic utensils are To Go Ware Bamboo Utensil Sets with a recycled carrying case. They come in various colors, include a fork, knife and spoon and are made for kids! The carrying cases have a clip to attach to your lunchbox as well!

6. Lunchboxes:

Lunchboxes can be hard to find that are in with the trends and work well with all the reusable products mentioned thus far. A recommended lunchbox from parents that use the Large Lunchbot Container is the Wildkin Kids Two Compartment Insulated Lunch Bag. It fits the container in the bottom with room for a water bottle and more snacks on top. There are many colors and patterns to choose from to suit your child’s style.

7. Water bottle:

There are so many different fun options for reusable water bottles that your kids can be excited about. One brand is called Klean Kanteen. They have water bottles specifically for kids; smaller in size, fun colors, durable, and has a built in straw cap. They can keep your drinks ice cold for up to 40 hours and drinks hot up to 12 hours. Another brand is S’ip by S’well. They are leakproof, have double layered insulation, are made of 18/8 premium food grade steel, and have lots of cute options for designs.

8. Napkins:

Kids can be messy, but we don’t want all the waste that comes with carrying paper napkins. Cassie Johnston has a great blog post that shows you how to make your own napkins/baby wipes from old flannels or cloths. For your kid’s napkins, you can make the size a little larger than suggested in the article, for example – 14 inches square instead of 8 inches mentioned in the blog. If you don’t have time to make your own, there are some other options. Reusable napkins can be pretty inexpensive at your local grocery or discount store, but here is another zero-waste option by Mioeco. These reusable bamboo paper towels are washable, biodegradable, long-lasting, organic and absorbent. Throw one of these in your child’s lunch with all the delicious healthy snacks and you have completed a zero-waste lunch!

Let’s Get Started!

Hopefully these suggestions help us all reduce waste and encourage our children to be excited about their cool reusable lunch items. By taking small steps and showing our children we can make a difference, the possibilities are endless.

Happy shopping and have a great school year!!