Packing a Waste-Free Lunchbox

When my kids were much younger and I wasn’t as concerned about the environment or what I put in their lunchboxes (as much as I am now), there was so much to throw out when they returned home from school.  Now, though, it is second nature and really just a habit to pack their lunches without any waste.  Yes, you read that right.  We are at the point of no waste in their lunchboxes.  Even if you aren’t a treehugger, this is a really fun challenge…especially if you’re a competitive type.  I’ve been called a little competitive.  Buying items that come individually wrapped is not only wasteful, but it’s also way more expensive, and for what, a little convenience?  With a little preparation and organization, we can all pack a lunchbox free of waste for our kids, or at least one with less waste. Try some of these ideas:

  • Purchase several containers in varying sizes – BPA-free plastic ones are stainless steel are great!
  • Ditch those little juice boxes – instead buy each child their own reusable water bottle, it’s the best for them and you just refill every day and they can refill at school if needed.
  • Do some pre-packing the night before – things like crackers (my kids love the Annie’s Homegrown in several flavors, from cheddar bunnies to bunny grahams) , fruit, veggies, chunks of cheese, and homemade baked goodies, can all be packed the night before to save you valuable time in the morning.

I love that when my boys get home from school, I just have a few containers to wash, but nothing to throw in the trash can, aside from that darn banana peel that Cody keeps bringing home.  Someone please tell him it is really gross for me to have to reach in and pull it out of his snack bag every day…because he doesn’t listen to me when I ask him to throw it in the trash at school. 

Do you pack a waste-free lunchbox already?  Have any additional tips to offer? Do you need advice on working toward less waste in your child’s lunchbox? Ask away!!


  1. Great tips! Just to add, you can also opt to use wooden utensils and stainless steel straws so that you will be able to cut off the use of plastic things. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this, very informative!
    Ariel Manoban recently posted..Understanding Flatware with Stainless Steel Suppliers in the PhilippinesMy Profile

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