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Waste-free Lunches for Summer Camp

May 22, 2010

The average school-aged child generates an estimated 67 pounds of lunchbox waste per year. So when Green My Lunchbox asked if Sign Up For Camp would join the waste-free lunch movement, we jumped on board.

This started at home.  I went “green” for my son’s lunch at school by letting him have the hot lunch every day. OK, the motivation may also have been about saving a few minutes in the kitchen each morning, but, nevertheless, I knew that by doing so, I would be creating less waste in the form of baggies and plastic utensils that would otherwise be going straight to the landfill from my kitchen.

Now that summer is around the corner, I’m looking for ways to “green” our summer camp lunches. Not only is it the right thing to do for the environment, but several of our camps, such as the Audubon Summer Adventures and GreenPlay Sustainable Summer Camp, are requiring it.

Fortunately, there are a lot of cool, fun products out there that not only make waste-free lunches the right environmental choice, but also much more fun for my kids.

Kids Konserve out of Phoenix, Arizona, makes Waste-free Lunch Kits and Leak-proof Stainless Steel containers and various other lunch-packing items that are the perfect solution to ensuring a non-disposable summer camp lunch or snack. They have a variety of options, including the lightweight Snak Paks, Insulated Lunch Bags made from recycled plastic bottles, kid-sized stainless steel bottles, made from recycled food grade stainless steel and festive reusable Animal Print Bags, made of recycled cotton. I love the stainless steel containers that come in a variety of sizes. Instead of throwing a whole apple into a lunchbox, knowing that my daughter will take two or three bites of it and then toss it into the trash, I cut it up and put three or four pieces into a container and, voila! She polishes off the whole lot. Sign up for Camp members receive an extra 15% off any purchase good thru September 2010 by entering the coupon code “ SignUp” at checkout.  Check out the fun selection at Kids Konserve now.

Fabkins, a Bay Area company that makes organic cotton kid-sized napkins in brightly colored embroidered designs, offers another cheerful way to green up your lunchbox. My daughter is smitten with the super-groovy 70s flower power design and my son is eyeing the super-cool beach bound set.  Fabkins are also great to carry in your purse or diaper bag to use for cleaning up spills or messy faces.

Another Bay Area company, Citizenpip, also has some fun and funky insulated lunchboxes, reusable utensil sets and insulated food jars. Sign Up For Camp members receive 10% off an order of $50 or more with the coupon code: signupforcamp10. Good through June 25.

The fun containers also have the benefit of getting the kids more interested in preparing their own lunches and bringing home all the pieces. And it’s been a useful way to start the conversation on our impact on the earth and how we can protect our environment.

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