Why do we love natural toys for kids around our house? Because after being parents for a while, my husband and I have realized that we love the opportunity for imaginative play, and we love the quality that comes with toys made from eco-friendly, natural materials.
With school starting back up, what better a time than now to talk about tips for packing an eco-friendly lunch? Packing an eco-friendly lunch reduces massive amounts of waste, and saves you money at the same time! There are so many great products out there that will keep you from heading to the store to buy more plastic baggies…
By the way, have you ever thought about how many plastic baggies you use in a week? What about a year? How much money are you spending on them? If you do the calculations you will be absolutely shocked at the money you are wasting on those things. Plus, it takes them hundreds of years to decompose. It’s a really sad, sad thing! The chart below is calculated for a one adult, and two child household. It’s really unbelievable the amount of waste we are creating, and most people don’t really think about it most of the time.
Because of this, I’ve compiled a list of eco-friendly packed lunch products that will help your family reduce the large amount of waste that generally results from packing lunches on a regular basis. Some of them are affiliate links, so I will receive a small percentage with no additional cost to you, but all of these products are great and very earth friendly!
Tips for Packing an Eco-Friendly Lunch
- Ditch the baggies and plastic wrap! Purchase reusable containers and baggies.
- Find a great safe lunch box similar to some of the ones listed below. Reusing a lunch box is much more eco-friendly than using paper bags.
- Don’t purchase individually packaged food and snacks. That will save you a ton of money and reduce waste, plus in general foods that are not packaged individually have less added ingredients (example: pre-cut and pre-packaged apples).
- Try using cloth napkins rather than paper napkins or wipes.
- Avoid buying plastic silverware. Just pack normal stainless steel silverware and wash it when it’s brought home.
Great Eco-Friendly Lunch Products
Although it’s not completely necessary to purchase any of the products below, I really enjoy the many compartments that they have. It’s particularly great for packing a variety of different foods in one simple container for kids, since normally they love variety and finger foods!
I hope that this post has motivated you to think about how much waste is being created by packing lunch every day with disposable items. By tweaking your normal lunch-packing routine, you can reduce your yearly waste by hundreds of pounds!
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Tomorrow is Earth Day everyone!
Please remember to do something special, whether that means planting some flowers, or just picking up litter from the ground. There is nothing more spectacular than our Earth, so just take a moment to appreciate her. It seems to me that many people forget this Holiday, and I’m unsure why. After all, if we didn’t have the Earth, what would we have? Nothing.
We need to teach our children to love the Earth that they live in not just today, but every day. We cannot let them lose their connection to this wonderful place we call home. Let them explore and play outside. Answer their questions about the birds, and plants, and flowers with love in your heart for what the Earth has given us. Teach them to appreciate it. Teach them to cherish it, because after all, we only have one Earth.
“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and can teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.” -John Lubbock
I have wanted to write this post for quite some time, and I am finally getting around to it. I feel so strongly about this, that it’s almost hard to put into words. Having a garden has brought our tiny family so much closer. Not just to each other, but to the Earth as well. There is no doubt in my mind, that having a garden has been the most beneficial, and educational decision we could have made, and for that reason we continue to do it every year.
Gardening is something that takes a lot of hard work, determination, and sometimes research, but believe me it is worth it. Whether the only outdoor space you have is a city balcony, or you live on 50 acres, you can do it. Whether your children are babies or almost grown, just a small garden will fill them with unbelievable curiosity.
We live on a little lot in a small town, and in previous years we used cement block raised beds for our garden. Last summer, some of the kindest individuals we have ever met allowed us to plant a huge garden on their empty lot across the street from our home. Because of that, last summer was the most amazing experience we have had as a family. We worked so hard on that garden, and our family is so much closer because of it. Our children were able to plant the tiny seeds, and learn how they grow. They learned about eco-systems, the water cycle, patience, hard work, and so much more. The list is honestly never ending, and every year as they become older, there will be new lessons to be learned, and more knowledge to be gained.
Our four-year-old always insists on planting our seeds, and kisses every one to give it love and help it grow. Our two-year-old fills her belly with onions, pulled right from the earth. We didn’t have many this fall because most of them made it to her mouth before the basket!
Every morning we would walk across the street to check on the garden. Our children would check on the baby melons, squealing with excitement if they grew a large amount from the previous days’ rain. Their shoes would get torn off immediately so that they could squish their little toes in the mud as they walked up and down the rows of corn, measuring how much taller it was than them that week. Our two-year-old always plopped down in her sun dress and snacked on kale and onions as the tall corn shaded her, while our four-year-old investigated what kind of creatures were eating the tomatoes at night. We had old spoons we left there for play, and both of our children would dig for things. Our four-year-old would always comment that he was being and Archaeologist, with Miss 2 following, “Me too! Me too!” We could stay at that garden for hours every day, and the family time we spent there was incredible.
Not only were we able to watch our children play and learn, we all worked together towards a common goal- to help our plants grow. Even our 2-year-old helped pull weeds, water plants, and gather our harvest with her own special little bucket in hand. With their Daddy working during the day, it was so nice for all of us to have something to look forward to in the afternoons when he would arrive home. We would gather the supplies we needed, and hold hands as we crossed the street to that special place, and work until it was time for dinner on some nights. If we went on a weekend trip, it seemed like the first thing we all wanted to do (even before unloading the car), was check on the garden- to see what surprises it had for us.
The pride we all feel that we are able to grow that nutritious food on our own, and put it on the table for our children is an indescribable feeling, especially living in town without much land. We were able to can over forty quarts of green beans this summer, more zucchini bread than we knew what to do with, a freezer full of tomato sauce, plus fresh veggies most of spring, summer, and fall.
You wonder what the cost must have been to do this? I believe we calculated it to cost 56 dollars. That is including the cost of seeds, starter plants, and the cumulative water bills.
We do not spend money on herbicides. We plant extra, so if anything happens, we still end up with plenty. It just takes time, and I promise no matter how busy you are, you can always find a little time to work in the garden. It definitely has a therapeutic quality.
Our yearly garden has taught our small children so many lessons, but the one I feel is most valuble, is this: The Earth can provide for us the things we need. That is a lesson many people do not seem to remember anymore.
People feel as though they need to rely on big businesses, grocery stores, and so many other man-made things that they forget the Earth is capable of giving us what we need. We just need to show it a little love. People think dirt on their food is discusting… well, I’m fairly certain the chemical ingredients in the french fries they are munching on are much worse.
If you still need more convincing….
An Urban Garden is:
- Inexpensive/nearly free
- You know where your food is coming from
- No need to make extra store trips- just walk out and grab a tomato from the garden!
- A garden provides you with the opportunity to educate your children about various different topics
- Much more fresh than much of the produce you purchase from the store
- Give it a try! Learn something new!
- And just remember….
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