I'm a sucker for containers. The Container Store opened in Vegas a few months back and I had to take my man with me to stop myself from buying new containers to hold my containers. It's got to be my personality. I don't mind clutter, as long as it's contained. I know someone out there has got to relate.
I battle this disease when it comes to lunch boxes or lunch holders. I can't see the waste of a new one every year or the expense of the 'eco' lunch boxes, every year. I'm pretty proud of myself when it comes to the lunch scene. I've really held it together and kept the same box around for a couple of years each or until they ripped apart.
The very first lunch boxes my offspring took to preschool were recycled juice boxes. I loved the idea of supporting a village of women. That was in the early days of my transition and my friends gave us a good stare. Then the zippers broke and we moved onto a lead free bag that would hold all of their bits and included a handle.
I was given a couple of Kids Konserve lunch box sets at exactly the same time that I needed new ones. Yeah! But I couldn't stand them personally. Great idea, too soft sided for the containers we use. I really despised the water bottle, way too small of an opening. We need ice in our water out here.
We picked it up new ones from Costco and I'm sure they'll have something similar this year. They hold in spills and clean up well with a little vinegar and sunlight. (soap and water those lunch boxes-seriously!! can you imagine the germs from little hands and class room floors-ugh!)
The water bottle holder on this is just ok, But the actual bottle is stainless steel, so that excited me. I took a sharpie to the water bottle and put their initials on it and usually re do that once a week.
I was a horrible eater and often skipped lunch or ate out before my transition. To celebrate 'taking lunch' I bought my own lunch bag. In hind site, brighter would have been more me. I do love this brand, NY Built, it's wet suit material. It stretches, goes into the washing machine and lays flat for travel.
The blue one was a fun gift from my sister in law. I love the color and long handles. But it has a draw string top that doesn't like to open up wide enough for my rectangle glass containers. It is my favorite for snacks. It's from Thirty One Gifts.
The ultimate reduce lunch holder is my man's trusty old mini ice chest. Putting stickers on it for him is off limits. Although he hasn't been able to totally remove my 'plastic bags blow-BYOB' advertisement. tee hee! He's often heard telling new guys, 'My lunch box has seen more fire than you have' I believe it. It's over two decades old and still going strong.
When the offspring were super little, I often took their food into restaurants in this bag. I had searched for insulated bags all over the net. It looks like a really cute purse. Patients will ask me if it's ok to bring food into a restaurant. Really?? Who's gonna mess with a mom and her allergy kids? I took this bag everywhere in the early years of scary allergies. It now goes with us to swim meets and on longer day trips constantly.
NY Built also makes a big bag that my mom in law gave me. Love the color but no zipper, so it's great for water bottles or bathing suits.
We tend to take a lot of small food containers with us when we leave our home. We always have to be prepared for lunch, snack, after school snack etc. So I bought every day rubber made containers, years ago and someone gave me the Tupperware sandwich holders. They couldn't use glass in the little years. We use glass for acidic foods and these for other items.
We still use these containers cause I'm about the reducing, they work, so why buy new, right? I will tell you that the little plastic containers are AWFUL to get nut butter out of. My man refuses to wash them. There are many awesome stainless steel versions on the market and we'll replace these with those when it's time.
As the kids have gotten older, we still use the same old ones and they've graduated to some glass. I bought these two years back from Costco. LOVE their boxed set!
We use glass as often as possible. My lunches are often full of olive, caper, and canning jars. Vegas takes our glass but doesn't truly recycle it. They ship it overseas. hmmmm... So I reuse. I love the skinny ones for dressing or a tight spot in my husbands lunch box. We still (gulp) use a microwave, so glass it is.
When it comes to plastic bag type items, a good friend turned us onto these instead. Their fab with small bits if you double fold the top, a sandwich does ok but wet carrots are a no go. We do reuse them.
I was really ready to get some new cracker, small vege etc holders this year. My kids are tired of all of the containers in their bag and I'm not ready to go Bento box yet. AND even though I'm a container freak. I HATE buying quality, new reusable containers. They can be expensive, way too many to look at online or they dribble your foods out of their folds. I solicited the advice of 'eco mamas' in my field of life and choose these.
They are made by Re-Pac I loved the reviews and the fact that they have a zipper. I only bought what you see and it was $44.49 EGADS!! If I can't use them for years, I'll be calling Re-pac. So far they're wonderful and true to review. My kids jumped me to use them and had to wait for me to get around to this picture and bit of review. They roll their eyes when we eat 'cause I have to take a picture first too. Stinkn kids.
And lastly, the reusable spork knife. You gotta have something that you reuse. I got tired of seeing school plastic or my man bringing home office cutlery. Seriously! Like I want to have co mingled cutlery that I have to remember to get back in a lunch. I know you can get these all over, we got ours on our trip out to Colorado last year from my favorite (sniff) Natural Grocery. Light My Fire makes them.
When it comes to daily drinks, stainless steal or recycled glass. No juice pouches or boxes. Stainless/glass and fill with your beverage of choice.
That's it. That's all we use. I'm really feeling tugged by the new Bento style box at our local Fresh and Easy. They're only 6.99 and way cute. There is only one lid and not a bunch of little lids in one box. (thus my fascination with Bento-a container of containers) I just can't justify buying more plastic. When my little containers totally wear out and the actual lunch boxes rip apart it will be time to look at the awesome eco sites again. Until then, nope. I'm holding her back.
Power to the family!