April 1st is the official kickoff to Earth Month, but being friendly to the environment is a challenge that my family and I try to embrace all year long. A few years ago we implemented some simple changes to our lunchboxes that made a huge difference in the amount of waste we produce. These easy changes will make your lunchbox more eco-friendly, and they don’t require very much time or effort!
(Also, lunchboxes aren’t just for lunch! My family frequently packs “lunchboxes” for dinner or a substantial snack before our evening sports games and practices. They’re great for on-the-go families!)
The #1 thing that you can do to make your lunchbox “greener” is to utilize reusable food storage options. Look for reusable bags and containers that are food-safe and BPA-free. It’s even better if the containers are made from recycled materials, and you’ll earn additional eco-friendly points if the storage bags and containers can be recycled again at the end of their lifetime.
To-go condiment containers are meant to be disposed of after a single use, but they can be rinsed and reused over and over again. They’re great for transporting salad dressing, dipping sauces, yogurt, applesauce and more. Plus, many are recyclable once they become worn out!
Using cloth napkins instead of paper is another great way to cut down on waste. Many home decorating stores sell cocktail size cloth napkins that are perfectly sized for lunchboxes. My sons’ school required their students to switch to cloth napkins a few years ago, and they reported over a 25% decrease in trash produced! Next up is a switch to reusable beverage containers that they predict will cut their trash by an additional 30% – that’s an impressive total!
Skip the pre-packaged single-serving foods if possible, and opt for a larger box or package that you can portion out on your own (better for the environment and your wallet!). When you do choose single-serve packaging, look for squeeze pouches and tubes that can be recycled and/or have a smaller carbon footprint than bulkier traditional packaging. Several retailers now carry refillable pouches that you can fill with your own favorites!
So, what are our favorite lunchbox fillers? These new snack options from Horizon have quickly become family favorites, and they’re a lunchbox staple in our house these days. The Peanut Butter Snack Crackers are my boys’ #1 choice, and I’m loving the Cinnamon Snack Grahams myself (they’re soooo yummy!). The Organic Mac (pasta shells with white cheddar cheese) is super tasty, and another great lunchbox item (one box makes enough for all three boys’ lunches). For more information about these delicious new Horizon Organic snacks and foods, be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
To keep your lunchbox as eco-friendly as possible, remember the 3 Rs of sustainability – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle! Making just a few small changes can result in great environmental benefits!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organics. The opinions and text are all mine.