Back to school time has finally arrived and I’m sure mothers all over the country are doing the happy dance. I know that back to school time is one of my favorite times of the year.  As much as I love my kids, having them at home all summer, complaining about being bored can be rather tiring. They miss their friends and they both do better with a daily routine in place.

Now that the kids are back in school, the age old question of what to pack for lunch each day is back again. Sometimes, I really feel like I pack the same thing every single day. I know that I really don’t. I pack a variety of different, healthy options for lunches. Still there are some days where it feels like it’s always the same.

Along with packing healthier lunches, I’m also trying to find ways to pack a greener school lunch. I have visions of garbage cans overflowing with plastic wrap, plastic baggies, wrappers from hundreds of individual serving sized snacks, juice boxes, straws, etc. Yikes! Thankfully, there are ways to pack a greener school lunch that are fairly easy.

10 Ways to Pack a Greener School Lunch

  1. Start with a reusable lunch box or lunch bag rather than a paper sack that will be tossed in the trash every day.
  2. Stop buying individual bags of chips, pretzels and cookies. If you need to send these types of snacks, buy a large bag and then put a serving in a reusable plastic container.
  3. Instead of purchasing plastic baggies for sandwiches, there are plastic sandwich boxes or fabric sandwich pouches that can be washed and re-used.
  4. Pack organic. Purchasing organic food lessens the impact that toxic chemicals and pesticides have on our planet.
  5. Use a colorful cloth bandana instead of a throw-away paper napkin.
  6. Don’t send throw-away plastic silverware. If you must send plastic, tell your child to bring them home so they can be washed and reused.
  7. Stop including a juice box or pouch and instead send a reusable bottle full of water or organic juice if you must send juice.
  8. Buy local.  There is nothing more green than picking up your snacks at your local farmer’s market. Ours carries not only fruits and veggies but also baked goods, honey and local crafts.
  9. If your child has any leftover food or food scraps, encourage them to bring them home so you can add it to your compost pile.
  10. Send only what your child will eat. Sending an organic apple that they throw in the trash is never a green choice.

Share how you pack a greener school lunch for your child.