Back to school is the perfect opportunity to eliminate extra plastic from your life. As you may or may not know, it’s definitely worked for Seed & Sprout! You can read more about that here, but to give you the gist, my son, Archie, started school at a local Steiner School a couple of years ago and they had a no-disposables policy. I was so pumped to be a part of a school that actually gave a f. We haven’t looked back since!
This year, we wanted to help you make the school months a little greener too! More and more schools are jumping on board with the war on waste, but either way, making a few small changes to the way you wrap and pack school lunches can actually ensure the new school term/year is a waste-free one.
Let the kids expand their minds without expanding landfills with this waste-free lunch checklist! Be sure to scroll down for some bonus snack recipes too!
WASTE-FREE LUNCH CHECKLIST:
LUNCH BOXES / CONTAINERS
Bento lunchboxes are amazing for both kids and adults alike. Eco-friendly materials like stainless steel are the best because with TLC it'll last a lifetime! The design of bentos also prevent food waste for the younger children.
Shop the Stacker Bento Lunch Box.
SANDWICH WRAPS / SNACK BAGS
Kids love sandwiches! You can skip the zip lock bag and pop them into a Silicone Fresh Food Pouch or go for a reusable fabric wrap. They’re both easy and won’t leach potentially harmful chemicals to the food.
REUSABLE UTENSILS & NAPKINS
Save your money and the environment by packing reusable utensils and cloth napkins. Check out this beautiful-looking, hard-working set that replaces all that plastic nastiness. Bonus points for being perfectly packed in a quality organic cotton pouch!
Plastic water bottles and soda cans are now recognised as a source of harmful chemicals that leach into the beverages children are drinking. Let’s get a handle on that problem and get a stainless steel or glass bottle. These are the safest options to reduce chemical exposure and waste!
You can't save the planet on squashed sandwiches and bruised fruit. This beautiful lunch bag fits your lunch, lunch box, bottle or any combination thereof. It maintains the chill or warmth of food kept within; also helps you maintain your no-plastic resolve.
Shop the Insulated Lunch Bag.
BONUS SNACK RECIPES:
Now that you’ve got the tools, you’re probably thinking about the meal prep! Popcorn has changed my life. My son loves it and it’s so easy to do! Check out the recipes below for extra eco-lunch packing points!
1. PEANUT BUTTER BLISS BALLS by @packedplants
Came for the beauty, stayed for the practicality! @packedplants always leaves us speechless! Perfectly stored in the Seed & Sprout Eco Stow Set!
3/4 cup of almond meal
1/2 cup of coconut (shredded, desiccated, flaked whatever floats ya boat)
1/4 cup of cacao powder
1 handful of walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup of Dark Roasted Crunchy Peanut Butter
2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup
Pinch of salt
- Legit combine everything in a bowl, try not to eat all the mixture and roll into balls. Coat with coconut if you're feeling fancy and you're good to go lads.
It makes about 15 balls depending how big you roll them and they will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.
2. BAKED KALE CHIPS
Ditch the oily and plastic packaged crisps and make your own instead! Be sure to bring a reusable bag on your trip to the farmers market when shopping for your beautiful leafy greens!
1 large bunch of curly kale
Sprinkle of sea salt and/or seasoning of choice
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- Wash and thoroughly dry kale. Any residual water on the leaves will cause them to steam and wilt in the oven instead of crisp.
- Remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite sized pieces.
- Lightly spray two large baking sheets with oil before placing the kale pieces.
- Go bold with flavour! Spray with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and seasoning of choice.
- Bake until crisp, turning and moving them around as they shrink to make sure they crisp up evenly.
- Top with shredded parmesan cheese, keeping a close eye on them, bake an additional few minutes until the edges are crisp but not burnt. Time will vary depending on your oven.
Why it’s healthy: Skipping oily potato chips in favour of a vegetable alternative is already a healthy choice. You can also try it with spinach but opting for kale is even better for your bod, as this leafy green is one of the healthiest produce picks around.
Cut back on waste: Unlike bagged potato chips, homemade veggie chips are a virtually zero-waste snack. BONUS TIP: Use our Reusable Silicone Food Wraps as baking paper!
Check out our stories on Instagram to see Archie nail the Kale Chips Recipe! Kale, yeah!
3. CHICKPEA CHIPS by @thebotanicalblendco
Love me a good chickpea chip! This one has olive oil, rosemary oil, salt, pepper and garlic!
2 cans chickpeas (organic and BPA free are so worth the extra few cents!)
1-2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
1-2 drops of rosemary essential oil
Salt and pepper
Spices or herbs of your liking (we mix it up all the time)
1. Drain and rinse your chickpeas and lay out on a clean towel to dry. This is crucial for maximum crisp.
2. Add them to an oven proof tray and add olive oil and rosemary essential oil, salt pepper and any dried herbs of your liking. (Garlic powder is also amazing)
3. Pop in the oven on a high heat of around 220C and give a stir every few minutes. They normally take about 8-12 minutes, I just keep an eye on them.
TALK TO YOUR KIDS & GET YOUR FAMILY INVOLVED.
One of the best ways to ensure a greener future is by teaching our children. As you make all of these eco-friendly choices and decisions in your day to day life, be sure to explain to your family why you are doing it. Encourage them to tell their friends about the steps you are taking and the positive impact they have on the world around us.