Bring Your Own Waste-Free Lunch

I’ve found myself in the middle of a fairly large project, so for the next few days I’ll be running some posts that appeared in the early days of this blog — I think only about 5 of you were reading back then. 🙂

This post first appeared here on February 2, 2009.

Schools around the nation are implementing Waste-Free Lunch days. The idea is for parents to pack a lunch for their kids that is 100% waste-free. Whether or not you have kids, you can save some serious cash by bringing your own lunch to work everyday and you can make it healthier for you and healthier for the planet by packing waste-free. What goes into a waste-free lunch?

  • Reusable lunch bag. Make sure it’s not made of PVC. More on why PVC is bad in another post.
  • Reusable water bottle. These can be found in many places, but watch out for BPA. You’ll want to get a bottle that is either made of stainless steel or one that is clearly marked “BPA free.”
  • Sturdy containers to hold sandwiches and snacks.
  • Cloth napkin.
  • Reusable silverware.

Once you get in the habit of packing your own stuff, it’s really no more trouble than packing disposables. You’ll also save money in the long run by cutting back on the amount of disposables you’re using (and buying). There are lots of places to buy these items for both you and your kids. A few places to start looking are The Soft Landing, Nubius Organics, I’m Organic and

Now that you’ve got the goods, what goes in a healthy lunch? The easiest and most cost effective option is leftovers. The next best bet is fruit (no packaging), a whole grain (either bread or crackers), protein (beans, turkey, lean beef or chicken). There are plenty of sources for healthy lunch combinations. Those listed below are just a start.

Good luck with your Waste-Free Lunch!


  1. Ill have to start this one on my own before i pass it to the kids. Im going to have to figure out a way to remind them to bring home the conatiners and silverware.

  2. I think a lot of parents struggle with their kids not bringing home their containers. I had great success with these Enviro-Lunch kits. They’re not plastic, they’re not bulky and if you kid likes the fabric, (s)he will bring it back to you!
    .-= Stefanie´s last blog ..Skulls Wet Bag =-.