Monday, March 5, 2012

DIY GREEN: Waste Free Lunches

This week on Green Monday I wanted to take some time and talk about waste free lunches.

When my oldest daughter was in kindergarten, I paid for her to get hot lunch for the first semester of school. Since I was a single mom working 2 jobs and going to school full time, I thought that buying her lunch was the best option because I wouldn't have to take extra precious time from her.

Little did I know what those school lunches were doing to her. The school that she went to had a Spanish immersion program which meant that she had half her subjects in English & the other half in Spanish. Just halfway through the year, her Spanish teacher had to move back to Spain due to a family emergency. When the new teacher came in she sent my daughter to the office 3 times in her first week because she was falling asleep in class. She is such a deep sleeper that the poor teacher was worried that she wasn't getting enough sleep at home.

So, after the third visit to the office, the principal called me in to talk about what was going on. When I told her that my daughter sleeps from 8pm to 7am every morning, she recommended I take her to a doctor to be checked out. At the time I worked for a naturopath, so I took her in. The doctor had this really cool machine called an avatar that she would touch to certain acupressure points on my daughter's feet and hands. This handy dandy machine told her exactly what was going on in Bug's body. 

Turns out that she actually has a really bad sensitivity to dairy; and, since the school was giving her 3 boxes of milk away,  it was causing her to sleep in the afternoons. The naturopath recommended that I start packing her lunches and cutting out dairy from her diet. 

It took a little getting used to at first, but now we have it down. Packing lunches can create a lot of waste, so I found some awesome ways to cut down the lunch time clutter.

Waste Free Lunches is dedicated to finding solutions to the lunch waste problem. They offer all kinds of information like research & case studies, tips & tools and they also offer waste free lunch kits.

Laptop Lunches has 365 lunch ideas. How cool is that!?!?! They offer ideas for seasonal eating, picky eaters, allergy free lunches and portion controls. You can even sign up to get weekly lunch menus. I think that its sister site to Waste Free Lunches, so its a great resource.

Easy Lunch Boxes also offers a lot of great ideas for your lunch time menus. They offer waste free lunch systems that are BPA free and a good for the whole family. They sell containers & bags on their website.

 Fly Away Home offers a tutorial to make your own snack / sandwich bags.

Ginger Cake sells some of the cutest lunch bag patterns that I've seen.

And, it seems we can't get through a  Green Monday post with out spotlighting some Etsy shops. So, if you want to support a WAHM mom, here are some of favorite picks from Etsy.

Giggling Ninja sells these cute flatware rolls:

Home Brewed Gear makes these great waste free lunch kits ~ they're even insulated & PVC free!

Kael & Kaed offers these cute zippered snack / sandwich bags:

Three Girls And A Dog sells these cute cloth napkins:

Now that you have all the tools, its time to get out there and send your kids {and yourselves} out with waste free lunches!



  1. Too funny! I almost always pack Michael's lunch because of that except pizza Fridays. I have some ideas on my blog too.

  2. Thank you SOOO much for featuring my flatware rolls and my Etsy shop! I have been sending my children waste free lunches complete with flatware rolls, reusable flatware & containers, stainless steel water bottles and cloth napkins for years! They are 10th and 6th grade now and it's just a way of life for us!
    Thank you again~Amy

  3. Great ideas! I've been working on becoming more waste free lately!

  4. My son eats school lunches. It's a lot of work, time and money for us. He's on the free school lunches and that works for us.

  5. I love this idea! We aren't quite old enough for this yet, but we are trying to do this when we picnic, etc. I need to get some reusable sandwich bags too. I think that would make things much easier but I love the divided compartments!

  6. Thanks for sharing! I'd really like to try some of these products!