You’ve probably heard about packing a waste-free lunch. And in theory, it seems like a swell idea. But why should you really care? So what if a little bit of plastic gets tossed at the end of your meal?
What may seem like an insignificant piece of trash to you can really add up… in a horrible, horrible way.
Here are just a few shocking facts about plastic from ecowatch.com:
- Over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century.
- 50 percent of the plastic we use, we use just once and throw away.
- Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth four times.
- The average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic per year.
- Plastic in the ocean breaks down into such small segments that pieces of plastic from a one liter bottle could end up on every mile of beach throughout the world.
- Annually approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide. More than one million bags are used every minute.
- 46 percent of plastics float (EPA 2006) and it can drift for years before eventually concentrating in the ocean gyres.
- It takes 500-1,000 years for plastic to degrade.
- One million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from plastic in our oceans.
- Virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some shape or form (with the exception of the small amount that has been incinerated).
Now, I don’t know about you, but after reading just a couple of those facts, I’m ready to ditch plastic completely!
So what’s the answer?
Reusable lunch containers!
Fortunately, today it’s pretty darn easy to find reusable lunch bags, sandwich bags, drink containers, etc. Just take a walk down the lunch bag aisle at Target, and you’ll see a plethora of options.
That’s a great first step! But unfortunately, it’s still not the healthiest choice.
According to ecowatch.com, “Plastic chemicals can be absorbed by the body—93 percent of Americans age six or older test positive for BPA (a plastic chemical), and some of these compounds found in plastic have been found to alter hormones or have other potential human health effects.”
So what do we use instead of plastic?
Organic cotton reusable lunch items!
ORGANIC COTTON IS FREE OF plastics, vinyl, PVC, synthetic fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides, fungicides, heavy metals, toxic chemicals and waxes, and chlorine bleach… just to name a few things.
It’s also vegan and allergy-free, which is perfect for my severely food allergic daughter.
If you’re still not convinced to switch to organic cotton, let me shine the light on a few more amazing benefits:
- Organic cotton is 5x stronger than conventional (non-organic) cotton. It will hold up wash, after wash, after wash…
- It’s sturdier and softer than conventional cotton because there is NO bleaching, formaldehyde, scouring, softeners or flame retardants.
- It’s the most skin-friendly, soothing, harmless natural fiber.
Whew! Now, if that doesn’t convince you to switch to organic cotton… I don’t know what will!
You may be thinking, “Well, that all sounds great! But I have a few questions…”
Let me answer a few of the most common questions we get about our organic cotton lunch items.
#1 – Are they washable?
Yes! All of our organic cotton lunch bags, sandwich & snack bags, napkins and placemats are completely machine washable. We are moms, and we KNOW how easily things like this can get dirty. We put careful thought into each one of our products to make sure they are as easy to clean as possible.
For the most part, you can totally reuse them multiple times before they need to be washed, too! Even for the sandwich and snack bags — just shake out the crumbs and they’re ready to go for tomorrow’s lunch. If one gets soiled, toss it in the wash with the rest of your laundry (and some eco-friendly detergent!).
#2 – Are your bags waterproof?
No, they are not. We do not coat our bags with any kind of waterproof material because we simply have not found a 100% environmentally safe and food safe waterproof coating. Trust me, we’ve been looking for years! Our hope is that one day there will be a purely safe waterproof material or coating that can be used on organic cotton. But for now, we press on…
#3 – So, what can I pack in them?
Almost anything! Granted, you’ll want to steer clear of pouring applesauce directly into our snack bags, but for the most part, these tough guys can handle…
- Any kind of dry food you can think of: cheerios, chips, cookies, crackers, pretzels, popcorn… the list goes on!
- Sandwiches! All kinds of sandwiches! Even a messy peanut butter and jelly (or in our house, it’s Sunbutter and jelly). If anything seeps onto the bag, it comes right out in the wash.
- Some fruit — grapes are perfect, blueberries also. You just have to be careful with the wetter fruit, like melon or sliced strawberries. Yes, you can totally pack them, but after a couple hours, the bag will feel wet. Try a stainless or glass container for those wetter items.
#4 – Can my toddler open and close your snack bags?
Totally! This is one thing we’ve been praised about by customers for years. When we started our business, my daughter was 2, and I was about to have a baby boy soon after. Ease of toddler handling was definitely on our minds!
It’s actually one reason why we still use Velcro on our bags. As much as we lament plastic, there it is. But why?
We’ve tried other options, like button and loop closures and even magnets, but little kids can’t handle the buttons and loops very well, and magnets don’t stay closed well enough to keep all the food inside.
But we’re on the edge of a breakthrough!
We are currently working on ditching the Velcro completely and having 100% plastic-free lunch bags and sandwich & snack bags! We’re so excited about this idea! It’s been in the works for a while, and we’re in the final stages of tweaking before we’ll launch our new plastic-closure-free bags!
But don’t worry — they’ll still be easy enough for your little guy to open and close. That is very important to us!
In the meantime, we want to make sure you get what you need in time for Back to School (which, amazingly, is right around the corner)! So we’ve put our entire lunch section on SALE!
They’re all 20% off through the end of August, so no matter when school starts for your babes, you can be armed and ready! At least for lunchtime. 😉