Queen Composter is pondering how to deal with her children losing expensive, eco friendly food containers.
Every year for Christmas I like to give my daughters reusable lunch containers and snack bags. I have been slowly replacing the less environmentally friendly reusable lunch container options with safer ones. The stainless steel containers that I like are much more expensive than the more “disposable” plastic ones sold in the grocery stores, however, and I am tired of my daughters misplacing them. I have their names on everything, and occasionally they make their way back to my girls, or the missing containers are found in the bottom of a bag. But I am noticing the stock shrink over time and I don’t know what to do about it.
|Our PVC and phthalate free lunch boxes. The stainless steel container|
on the left is a two-level bento box, and can be great as an all-in-one lunch container.
With stainless steel containers ranging from $10 to $20 or more, and snack and sandwich bags from $5 to $10, I cannot be replacing them every time they go missing. We are now down to enough supply to cover two days’ lunch for each daughter. There are times, however, when things have been left at school or daycare, or temporarily lost in a bedroom, and I have nothing “safe” to use to pack everyone’s lunch. In these cases I have had to resort to the dreaded plastic ziplock baggy (that has been washed and reused more times than I can count), plastic container that we still have hanging around, or glass containers that I prefer to use for work (but don't like to send with my kids).
I have looked into giving my girls stainless steel lunch systems for Christmas presents (all in one, no need for additional containers) but as they are often $50 or more, I find it hard to justify the expense. I have invested much money so far in the individual containers and cloth bags, I am unwilling to change gears at this time. They still have a need for smaller containers because they like to run around during recess and don't want to have to carry their whole lunch outside when they play. They like grabbing their snack and putting them into their pockets.
|Our other lunch box option, the BPA free Goodbyn system, which|
we know is not ideal, but it does reduce the need for separate containers.
So far I have tried the following strategies:
- label every single item with our family name
- remind my daughters every day to bring home their lunch containers
- remind my daughters to clean out their school bags every day, and do spot checks myself
- do regular sweeps of their bedrooms, playroom
- reorganize storage spaces so that items are easy to locate (this is an ongoing issue as I’m not the most organized or tidy person)
- talk to my girls about why they need to take care of their belongings
- talk to my girls about why we buy more expensive containers instead of the cheaper, unsafe plastic items
Unfortunately, I still have a shrinking supply of eco friendly containers, and this year I am not buying replacements for Christmas presents. We will make do with what we have.
Has anyone else experienced this problem? How do you handle litterless lunches for school or work?