Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What's Wrong With This Lunch?

Last week I posted a review on Fabkins cloth napkins for kids. My son still loves them by the way. When he comes home from school he proudly tells me that he put his napkin back in his lunch box and did not throw it in the garbage. He’s so proud of himself. But anyway, when I was putting together that post and I took a picture of his lunch, I came to a sad realization. The lunch I pack for him is far from being green. In fact, it’s filled with waste. Shame on me. Let’s take another look.

The good things:The bad things:
1. The Fabkins napkin1. Plastic applesauce container
2. Metal spoon2. Plastic yogurt container
3. Reusable sandwich container3. Juice box
4. Wrapper from cheese stick

Somehow I never realized how much waste I was still packing into his lunch. Here I thought I was doing a good job! It wouldn’t be so bad if the plastic containers were being recycled at school, but they’re not. Even if they were, it is still unnecessary waste. So what to do? Until Stonyfield starts making a big container of kids yogurt (that would be so fantastic) I’m going to have to stick with it. But I am going to see if I can get him to put it back in his lunchbox so we can recycle it. I foresee a messy lunchbox, so I will have to work on a better plan. The applesauce I can easily change. I buy tons of the bigger glass jars of it for at home, so I can start putting it in small reusable containers and sending those instead. Once I use up the rest of the juice boxes, we won’t be buying any more. It’s kind of ridiculous that I am paying for juice boxes that are 40% water anyway, so I’ll just start sending in his straw cup with a water/juice mix. I have no idea what to do about the cheese stick.

So it looks I need to add this to my Green Goals list and I am reaching out to you all to help me green my son’s lunch! How can I provide the same foods (or similar) but without the waste? If you have a pre-school aged child, what do you pack them for lunch?


  1. You should look into laptop lunches. They are the perfect solution to this problem!


  2. Oh, and as for how to cut down on the waste exactly, you could buy bigger containers, like a big container or vanilla or plain yogurt, same with applesauce. Juice, use reusable cups and big bottles of juice, and cheese you can buy big blocks and cut them into your own cheese sticks.

  3. Thanks Heather! I've been wanting one of those laptop lunches for so long. A little birdie told me William is getting one for his birthday next week, so I am so excited!

  4. Our school recently went away from the disposable plates and forks to help cut down.

  5. I let my son eat at school. But you could use some baby food jars to send some of the food in. I also got my sons school to recycle by providing the principal with information on recycling and the contact information from the local recycling center. You can also use containers that are stainless steel such as


  6. Check out the blog: www.thegreenlunchbag.com lots of tips and recipes on packing a healthy zero waste lunch. I'd also look into getting rid of that icky vinyl lunch bag and getting purchasing an organic cotton lunch bag from Hero Bags. www.herobags.com

  7. Also take a look at our 7 Simple Tips for Packing a Waste-free Lunch at https://www.fabkins.com/v/vspfiles/tips.html

    Keep at it, Marianna!

  8. you could always mix jam into the stoneyfield plain yogurt. i mix juice into it for a "smoothie" type drink for my toddler--those baby yogurts are expensive!


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