Simple and Sustainable School Lunches

It's easier than ever to pack a sustainable lunch.

Published August 31, 2017

Start the school year right with these tips on packing a sustainable lunch! 

Ditch the plastic bottles. Did you know that 80 percent of all plastic water bottles end up in landfills? You can help keep one more bottle from a landfill by choosing a reusable water bottle. These days, there is an endless variety of water bottles to choose from. Stainless steel, glass and BPA-free plastic bottles are all great options! 

Say bye-bye to brown bags. Pick up some reusable lunch boxes before the school year starts instead of reaching for plastic or brown bags. Lunch boxes not only help reduce the amount of trash that goes into landfills, but they can also be fun, fashionable and colorful. You can even find insulated lunch boxes to help keep food fresh!

Start with the basics. Cut down on single-use plastic utensils by packing lunches with forks, knives and spoons from your own kitchen. Substituting cloth napkins or dish towels for paper napkins is another great way to help reduce litter. 


Skip the plastic snack bags. Containers with multiple compartments are great for neatly packing lunches and help cut down on the number of plastic baggies that are used. Many containers are even microwave- and dishwasher-safe. Having reusable containers also makes it easier to buy in bulk and separate snacks into single portions. 

Remember to recycle. Enough plastic is thrown out each year to circle the Earth four times, so if you can't pack lunches in reusable containers, do your best to recycle the plastic you have used. Also, review what materials can and cannot be recycled with your students before they go off to school!

Learn more about the impact of plastic pollution on our oceans here.

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