When it comes to packing a waste-free school lunch you’ve got three options.
2. Buy a complete waste-free lunch kit. These kits usually cost $40-$70 but tend to be overall easier and a better deal than option two (see below). The downside is usually the storage and water bottle. Some waste-free lunch kits come with excellent food storage and a good water bottle. MANY however, come with terrible plastic water bottles and limited food storage. That said, it’s usually cheaper to add a decent reusable water bottle and a few reusable snack baggies to a complete kit than to buy all the stuff separately.
3. Buy a lunch bag or box + buy extra components. A good eco-friendly lunch bag + components can cost as much and often more than a ready-made kit. Plus these take some time to put together. The upside is you get killer components, like a decent stainless steel water bottle and just the right food storage for you child.
Since I consider a good complete lunch kit an easier green choice for green families, we’re going to look at some waste-free lunch kit choices first. Coming soon, I’ll post JUST lunch boxes and bags, plus gear you’ll need to purchase to go along with it.
NOTE: BTW, I’m not going to repeat myself over and over, by saying, “No BPA, no lead, etc.” But be aware if you see a lunch kit posted below, that means I did look it up and the company claims that the lunch kit is toxic free. You should review the kit carefully before you buy though.
THE BEST GREEN WASTE-FREE LUNCH KIT CHOICES:
The best reusable, waste-free lunch kit choices IMO have one thing in common – excellent food storage and a good water bottle. I think packaging plastic water bottles with an eco-friendly lunch box is very poor planning on the company’s part. Plastic doesn’t keep stuff as chilly, doesn’t last as long as stainless steel plus adds weird taste to liquids.
That said, the following waste-free lunch kits are, in my opinion, your two best options. The two lunch kits below are super complete, have excellent food storage and a non-plastic water bottle.
1. Citizenpip Soup to Nuts Kit – I’m a big fan of Citizenpip – read my review then take a look at the kits. Each Soup to Nuts Kit comes with enough gear (lunch bag, stainless steel water bottle, cloth napkins, stainless food container, four food containers and silverware) to pack a great waste-free lunch all year long.
2. Kids Konserve Waste Free Lunch Kit – This kit comes with a cute reusable, recycled cotton sack, cloth napkin, a 304 food-grade stainless steel beverage bottle, food kozy and two 304 food-grade stainless steel food containers. Three cool designs shown below.
DECENT WASTE-FREE LUNCH KIT CHOICES:
The decent choices below, have a major problem in common – a lame plastic water bottle (minus one). Still, these are decent and affordable enough that you can add a stainless steel water bottle and still keep costs down.
3. Go Green Lunch Box Set – This lunch kits comes with an insulated fabric carrier, a five-compartment food container and a stainless steel bottle. The reason it didn’t make the above “Best” list is because it looks tricky and a little small. I’m not an expert, having not tried a non-lid Bento lunch set out, but in my honest guesstimate, Cedar’s lunch would be a total mess in this lunch kit. I don’t like the idea of zero separated (by lids) containers. Now, if you have a kid that Bento-style works for, this could be a great pick, since it even comes with a stainless steel water bottle.
Two other good things about the Go Green lunch kit is that it has turn ‘n lock technology to ensure that your child’s lunch stays fresh and tons of really cool carry case designs to choose from (shown above).
4. Laptop Lunch Bento Set 2.0 – Bad plastic water bottle aside, Laptop lunch kits reduce waste, have decent storage and even come with a users guide. Plus, kids LOVE these. Every kid I’ve met who has one thinks it’s pretty cool. Each 2.0 kit comes with the food case which contains 5 removable food containers (3 with lids, 2 without lids), stainless steel utensils, plastic water bottle and User’s Guide.
- Laptop Lunch Bento Alien
- Laptop Lunch Flower-Print
- Laptop Lunch Passion Pink
- Laptop Lunch Berry Blue
5. New Wave Enviro Products – Lunchopolis Lunch Box – I like these except for the plastic water bottle. I think the bags are very cute, without being TOO cute for an older kid. Each kit comes with a 15 oz plastic water bottle plus 4 reusable color coordinated food containers.
Blue is available now, but I hear that very soon, Lunchopolis Lunch Boxes in brown or pink will also be available.
In the kit you get the box, one 19 ounce food container with two separate, removable trays that hold about 9 ounces each, two 6 ounce containers, one 1 ounce container, one 8 ounce drink bottle (choose from screw-on top or sippy style) and one ice pack.
Lunch Sense goes beyond most companies by offering excellent consumer help for choosing a lunch box size (small, medium or large) right down to pictures of a lunch (as shown above). Many colors available.
7. Waste Free Lunch Kit – this kit from EverydayJun includes a neoprene messenger style, lunch bag with a removable front panel, an “origami-esque” food container and a coordinating beverage bottle and spork.
I don’t like that it only comes with one food container. You’d need to add one or two more food storage options. There are many, many designs to choose from though.
DECENT – BUT ZERO WATER BOTTLE – WASTE-FREE LUNCH KIT CHOICES:
8. To-Go Ware Lunch Kit – this kit is great but has no water bottle. It comes with a 3-Tier Tiffin food storage container, a set of bamboo utensils with carry case and the eco-friendly cotton carry bag so you can take your meal to-go. There’s also a stainless steel Sidekick food jar included to keep extra dressing or a snack in. You can also check out the 2 tier option (To-Go Ware Lunch Kit – Stainless Steel Carrier with Bamboo Utensil Set – (shown below) that comes with a carrier and bamboo utensils.
9. OOTS Deluxe Lunchbox with Containers in blue – I love the mod design of OOTS, but there should be a water bottle. This kit comes with a durable upright lunchbox made with contemporary Dutch design plus 5 stackable containers (4 small, 1 large) for easy re-use.
Also check out, OOTS Deluxe Lunchbox with Containers in Green
10. Eco-Lunchbox Kit – Matching Bag, Napkins, Spork & Stainless Steel Lunch Box – ECO-Lunch Kits feature super lovely design aspects. Each kit comes with a pretty bag, stainless steel food container, a bamboo or stainless steel spork and matching napkins. The oval container fits two halves of a sandwich stacked with room for sides. Plus contains a stainless steel cup (3 1/2″ diameter) with a no-leak plastic lid for sauces, dressings, yogurt, applesauce or other wet items. The cup fits inside the larger oval box or can be used separately.
ONLY GOOD FOR WEE KID – WASTE-FREE LUNCH KIT CHOICES:
11. Goodbyn Original Lunchbox – these are meant for kids ages 5-9 and come with a lunchbox with lid (bento style) and an 8.5-ounce plastic bottle. These are small but also recyclable at the end of their life.
Goodbyn No Ears Lunchbox is made for kids 10+, but frankly, because of the small water bottle, I don’t think this is the best choice for older kids. I’d only use this for kids maybe 10 and under. I also don’t like that there are no separate food containers with lids. They do seem fun for little ones though and come with sticker your kid can use to personalize his box.
12. Yubo Deluxe Lunchbox-Orange with Peace design – Yubo’s unique changeable faceplates allows kids to update the look of their lunchbox which is cool, but I think this kit looks way too small for any child older than maybe six or seven. Each Deluxe Yubo lunchbox comes with 3 reusable food containers and a custom-fit ice pack but no water bottle. I do like the style of these though – very kid-pleasing.
Also check out other cute Yubo designs…
- Yubo Deluxe Lunchbox-Blue with Dinosaurs design
- Yubo Deluxe Lunchbox-Orange with My Little Monkey design