Thursday, August 21, 2014

Going Green for Back to School {August Natural Living Blog Carnival}

Welcome to the August 2014 Natural Living Blog Carnival: Green Your School Year.
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Natural Living Blog Carnival hosted by Happy Mothering and the Green Moms Network. This month, our members are getting ready for back to school. Stop by all of the posts listed at the bottom of mine to get ideas on how you can make simple changes to make the school year more eco-friendly and natural.


It's hard to believe it's already time to send the kids back to school! Didn't summer just begin? Here in our area, students actually returned nearly a month ago, due to a modified school year. Today we're talking about starting the school year off green. There are many ways we can do this- from using greener school supplies to essential oils to aid in studying and concentration. But perhaps the easiest way to green the school year is to take a look at your child's lunches! Personally, I prefer sending my kiddo to school with a packed lunch for a few reasons. First of all, the price. School lunches can be kinda high (for not a lot of food/food my kid prefers), but I can generally buy everything needed for a fantastic lunch a bit cheaper. Second, it gives me complete control and knowledge of what my son is eating. We are trying to eat better and really limit the amount of 'junk' when we can. By packing my son's lunch, I know just what he's getting and where it's coming from. Now that you know why I like packing a lunch, here are a few tips for keeping the lunchbox green:

  • Skip the Brown Bag. Seriously, does anyone use these anymore? Kids love fun lunchboxes with their favorite characters more than a boring old paper sack anyway! They are quite inexpensive and can be used for years to come. 
  • Ditch the Plastic Baggies Too. This is again a great way to not only BE greener, but save green too. You're literally throwing money in the garbage. Instead, consider reuseable options. You can get super cool divided lunch sets, or keep it simple with eco-friendly containers. My personal favorites are little cloth snack bags...I find them much easier to fit into smaller nooks and crannies.
  • Keep It Healthy. Kids may love those convenient little lunchables...but they really aren't the healthiest (or greenest) option. Instead consider a healthy sandwich or wrap with lots of fresh fruits and veggies. My little guy also loves yogurt in his lunch!
  • Make Your Own Lunchables. I recently heard a fabulous tip from another mommy that I thought was absolute genius. Why do kids love lunchables so much? It's the fun packaging, right? So buy one, and once the contents are gone, wash it and make your own! Your little one can get that fun packaging they desire, while you choose the healthy foods they need. It can offer a great lesson in recycling as well.
  • Keep it FUN! Just because it's good for them and eco-friendly, doesn't mean it shouldn't be fun too! Use bright colored containers, or ones featuring their favorite characters. Choose brightly colored foods, or use fun cutters to create cool shapes. Hide a note or another hidden surprise. If you make lunchtime a fun experience, they will come to love what they're junk required!
These are just a few very simple ways to create a green lunchbox, what ideas do YOU use? What other ways have you found to keep the school year green?

Visit Happy Mothering and to learn more about participating in next month’s Natural Living Blog Carnival! Please take some time to enjoy the posts our other carnival participants have contributed:


  1. Great tips! We also pack lunches. Our daughter's school doesn't have a cafeteria, which is great for us since we prefer to eat real food. You can also buy a bento box style lunch box instead of reusing a lunchables container. I always worry about the cheap plastic leaching into food.

  2. Great tips! I love the elimination of plastic baggies and lunchables. Lunchables are just not healthy, LOL!

  3. I try hard to keep my daughter's lunch fun, she is sooo picky and complains that everything is just to boring, however, she does love her grapes and homemade trail mixes so that goes in her kit almost everyday :)

  4. Great tips on greening up your kid's lunch! You can totally use them for hubby's or your own lunch, too. I used to love to bring little bentos to work with me before I had Fox, and my lunches were always admired :) I found bento to be a good way to keep lunch fun for us.


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