Can you believe it's already that time of year again? In just a few short weeks, shiny yellow school buses will be cruising all around town. What's that mean for you as a parent? Well...it means these last few weeks of summer are going to be filled with back-to-school shopping! Supply lists are already coming out and retail stores are already displaying fall fashions. It's time to start stocking your kids up for the school year, and one place you need to start is Reuseit.com so that you can get your kids back-to-school lunch essentials.
Did you know that the typical child generates 67 POUNDS of lunchtime waste per year? Now times that by the number of students in your child's class, or better yet, by the number of students in your child's school. That's a TON of waste that can easily be avoided by picking up 5 lunchtime reusables. That's it...just 5 reusable items can save all that trash and save you a ton of money in the long run (roughly $371 annually). Seems like a no-brainer right? Well here is how to get started...
1) Use a Reusable Lunch Bag
The great thing about reusable lunch bags is that there are SO many cute ones to chose from these days. Reusable lunch bags use to be all about function, but now they are about fashion too! Here are some of my favorites...
I love how these bags can hang from the back of a lunch chair while kids eat, instead of taking up space on the table. Such a smart idea.
You seriously can't go wrong with Neoprene when it comes to durability. It's machine washable, keeps food cold for hours and its easy to fold up and shove into a backpack when lunch is over. Plus...these designs are SUPER cute :-)
These traditional square lunch bags remind me of my school days...although these are way cuter than the New Kids on the Block one I carried :-) They have great colors and designs for girls and boys...
Okay...this is seriously the PERFECT lunch bag for the little fashionista in your life. It's cute enough to be a purse, but functional enough to use for lunch. I mean really...how can you go wrong? KOKO makes several adorable options so be sure to check them all out here.
2) Use a Reusable Water Bottle
I have posted several times about all the great reusable water bottles that Reusit.com has to offer, but here are a few new ones that I think are perfect for school (or any time for that matter :-)...
If anything is going to keep your child's drink cold until lunch time...it's a stainless steel bottle. The mouth on these is wide enough to fill with ice cubes, and it is super easy to clean if your kids want to refill it before heading home. I also love the adorable animal designs...I might order the beaver one for Eric :-)
Since I have become a huge fan of CAMELBAK, I just had to include one of their new kid-friendly bottles. These are the girlie designs, but they have ones for the boys too. I LOVE them!
3) Use Reusable Sandwich and Snack Bags
Obviously, disposable plastic sandwich and snack bags are one of the biggest culprits of lunchtime waste so even just replacing your child's snack bags will make a HUGE difference. I have always been a fan of LunchSkins, but here are a few new ones that I would like to try...
There's no confusing what's inside these bags! I love the colorful food pictures and the fact that they are made from organic cotton.
In case you didn't know, REUSEIT makes their own line of snack bags (and lunch bags, and shopping bags, etc.) and they are incredibly affordable in comparison to others out there. They are just as durable and fabulous and best of all...they are made in the USA!
4) Use Reusable Food Containers
I know a lot of people are big fans of Gladware and other "disposable reuseables" like that, but you have to remember that just because something says it is reusable...doesn't mean that it will last past a few uses. I have melted, stained, broken and cracked so many pieces of these cheap reusables in the past that I stopped buying them long before I realized how many other great options there are out there. These items may be more pricey, but when you think about how long you will use them, you will see that they are a much better value in the long run. Here are some of my new favorite food containers...
These are just too awesome to only be used for lunches! They are slim enough to fit in lunch bags, diaper bags and backpacks and my FAVORITE feature is that they are nestable, which means you can keep them organized in your cabinets! They are also BPA free and made of 100% recycled materials.
Okay...I have given this bad boy two test runs this month. I carted watermelon for Addison all the way to the zoo and when we got there, it was still cold! Score 1. I also carted warm oatmeal for Blake when we went out to breakfast and when we got there it was still warm!! Score 2! I never thought I would find so many uses for this jar but between snacks, babyfood, soups and chilies in the winter, etc...there are endless possibilities. I highly, HIGHLY recommend this for your kid's lunch bags (or your own :-)
These containers are the perfect size for your kids lunch bags. They are durable and leak-proof...two very important musts for kids. I also think they are great sizes for babyfood...especially if you make and store your own.
5) Use Reusable Utensils and Napkins
These are probably the two most neglected reusables when it comes to kids lunches, but they are just as important as the rest of the items on this list. Luckily, it's easy to find cute, kid-friendly utensils. My favorites are...
I've blogged about these before, but I just had to share them again because they are so perfect for kids lunches! The durability and convenient carry case make them a must-have. And speaking of items I have blogged about before...
I know that reuseable napkins are a dime a dozen, but these organic cotton napkins from Litter-Free lunch are awesome. I have used mine a lot and they still look brand new. LOVE them.
So...you see how easy that was? You only have to replace 5 items in your kid's lunchtime routine to save 67 pounds of waste and roughly $371 this school year!! You'd be stupid not to do it :-) And...to help move you along in your quest for a waste-free lunch...Reusit.com is giving away a REUSEIT Lunch bag AND set of snack bags FOR FREE to one lucky reader!!! Here is on of my favorite new REUSEIT lunch bags...
1) To enter this giveaway, you must visit Reuseit.com's new site and tell us what you love best about it. This will earn you 1 entry.
2) Leave an additional comment and let us know that you became a Facebook Fan. You can access their Facebook page right from the Reuseit.com homepage. This will earn you an additional entry.
3) Leave an additional comment and let us know that you became a Twitter Follower. You can assess their Twitter link right from the Reuseit.com homepage. This will earn you an additional entry.
4) Leave an additional comment and let me know of any eco-friendly topics you would like to see on Eco-Friendly Fridays. This will earn you an additional entry.
The winner will be announced next Friday, August 6th. Good luck everyone and Happy Back-to-School!
* If you would like to check out Reuseit.com's video on "5 Steps to a Waste-Free Lunch" you can check it out here*