The Best Wearable Gadgets

1 Easy Green Tip: Create a Drawer for Litterless Lunch

1 Easy Green Tip: Create a Drawer for Litterless Lunch

Positive change and fresh starts are a theme in my life right now, especially as we move towards a new school year. This back-to-school season is going to be unique for me as both of my kids move into full-time classes in Grades 1 & 2. This will also be my first full year as the parent leader of the Eco-team at Broadlands P.S., a role that I started last school year. The Eco-team is a natural extension of my daily work at Grassroots, and I love it! I am very active in all of the environmental programming at the school and I am in close contact with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) Eco-Schools Program. The TDSB is the 4th largest school board in North America and the EcoSchools initiative is an international leader in environmental programming.

I love working with our local school as we strive to increase environmental literacy, re-naturalize the school property, and reduce our ecological footprint. However, my daily work as a parent focuses on keeping my children safe, teaching them respect and stewardship of the environment, and trying to get them out the door with a healthy lunch. One of the initiatives that the TDSB EcoSchools program is really encouraging is the concept of the Litterless Lunch. With all of the activities and commitments of daily living, sometimes putting together an eco-friendly lunch can be a little daunting and time consuming so I thought I would share some simple tips to help you get your children out the door on time with a litterless lunch.

Create a Litterless Lunch drawer in your Kitchen

Designate one drawer for containers for lunches; this will keep you from constantly hunting around the kitchen for lunch containers. Here’s what you’ll need in that drawer:

-a good supply of durable, food-safe stainless steel containers; I keep about 3-4 different sizes per child
-include at least one, preferably two, airtight stainless steel containers for liquids (salad dressings, yogurt, soups, etc.)
-1 insulated container for hot food like mac ‘n cheese or grilled cheese
-washable, reusable sandwich wraps work great for sandwiches
-at least 3-4 food bags for snacks
-at least 1 ice pack to keep food cool until lunch time
-at least 1 – 500ml stainless steel container for water; I also keep an insulated thermos for hot drinks during the winter and to keep drinks cold during the hot weather
-at least 1 lunch bag; I prefer the insulated lunch bag, but my kids love the organic cotton ones that they can paint on
-reusable bamboo utensil sets

You will notice that I am recommending more than 1 of most of the above items… Keep in mind that children forget their lunch kits at school, leave them on the bus, and abandon containers in the schoolyard, so another important item for the drawer is a good supply of labels with your child’s name. This is especially important and convenient when you are digging through the lost & found box at school.

Have a safe and eco-friendly Back-to-School!