School Lunch Must-Have’s that are Eco-Friendly

My son started kindergarten last year and besides feeling sad that my little boy was going to school every day, I also felt lost when it came to making school lunches.

I turned to Pinterest for ideas. I found a lot of suggestions for the actual food to prepare, but I didn’t find a lot of suggestions for items to use for packing the lunch.

I am in no way the perfect environmentalist, but I try really hard to eliminate waste and garbage if I can.

But one thing that was weighing on me about packing a lunch is all the garbage that was produced because of it – mainly plastic sandwich bags, napkins, and juice boxes/water bottles.

Ultimately, the only thing I wanted my son throwing out was any food he didn’t finish. And even with that, I have a rule that any part of his lunch that isn’t finished is brought home and used as an after school snack. I really can’t stand waste.

We used most of the school lunch must-haves I am sharing with you last year and it worked out great! I’m planning on introducing cloth napkins this year and we will see how that goes.

You will also save money using these must-haves items because you aren’t buying sandwich bags, pre-portioned snacks, or juice boxes! Eco-friendly and you save money. It’s a win-win!

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Check Out the Following Eco-Friendly Must-Haves for School Lunches

Soft Insulated Lunchbox

I love that these are soft and flexible so it’s easy for my son to stuff it in his backpack. Plus, it has a little pouch to keep his drink or any other item he doesn’t want with the rest of his lunch.

These are also easy to clean, just run a damp cloth around the inside of the lunchbox to catch any crumbs or spilled messes.

Plastic Lunch and Food Storage Container

You can use this for the sandwich (or whatever main lunch item you have) and then put fruit/veggies and a treat on the top compartment.

I recommend you have two of these so you can rotate them.

These are dishwasher friendly also which makes for easy clean up.

Reusable Sandwich Bags

By far, my favorite items. You can use the reusable sandwich bags for anything you would put in a baggie. Plus, you receive multiple sizes. I love the smaller ones for veggie stix, or Goldfish.

These are so awesome that my son’s teacher even commented on what a great idea reusable bags are!

You can buy really fun prints too!


Every once and a while, you might want to send your kids with something hot for lunch, like mac-n-cheese, soup, or chili.

These small thermoses keep the food hot for up to 5 hours. The size of this thermos fits perfectly into the soft insulated lunchbox.

Ice Packs

Of course you need to keep some items cool and these little ice packs are perfect for just that.

You can get different colors, these are slim to save space, and they keep the lunch cool for hours.

Water Bottle

We own two water bottles and my son alternates using them for his lunch every day. These water bottles take a lot of abuse, and still keep ticking!

Plus, I love that we aren’t throwing out juice boxes, or a plastic bottle every day.

Cloth Napkins

I have to admit that cloth napkins have been on my mind for a while. I want to start using them with my family and I just realized that I could use them in my son’s school lunch also.

I’ll be making a cloth napkin purchase soon!

Lunch Box Supplies and Accessories

These are real extra, but if you want to win major points with your child, you could go all out and get these super cute accessories for school lunches.

I could see my son wanting to help make his lunch if he knew these items are involved! And the little notes are such a sweet idea.

These school lunch must-haves are eco-friendly, and they will save you money in the long-run. What are your favorite eco-friendly lunch supplies? Let me know in the comments below!

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  1. Great tips and ideas here. I’ve been thinking about redoing how I send the kids to school with their lunch. The current setup leaves little room for configuration of change. It only provides the same space so I have difficulties making their lunch flexible or fun. These are great ideas. I definitely need the reusable sandwich bags!

  2. this post is amazing – its crazy to see how far technology has come from regular paper brown bags and how fun lunch can be while still being eco-friendly 🙂 definitely going to shop a few of these items!

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