As an eco-minded parent, you’re likely already on board with reusable lunch gear. However, do you think that all disposable lunch items should be banned? It’s already happening in some areas. According to a story in The New York Times, many schools are very strongly encouraging parents to use reusable, compost-friendly and recyclable goods, such as reusable lunch bags, water bottles, containers, food wraps and real, not plastic, silverware. Some schools are so dedicated to waste-free lunches, The New York Times reports, that school administrators have made reusable lunch gear a real requirement and will even purchase reusable lunch gear and sell it to school parents at cost. As happens with most green issues, folks are divided about the push to pack waste-free lunches.

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Schools are major advocates of waste-free lunches because it cuts back on costs associated with garbage being picked up and hauled away. We’re not just talking a little bit of trash here and there either. Figures offered by Waste-Free Lunches, show that the average child who carries a packed lunch will generate an insane 67 pounds of waste per school year. That’s 19,000 lbs of garbage per one elementary school! Crumpled up brown bags, plastic baggies and disposable paper napkins sure do start to sound like the enemy when you hear figures like that. Still, some people may have trouble making the change.

Schools report that while most kids are on board, many parents are stuck on their old disposable habits, and find it hard to switch to reusable gear. Of course, for some the added cost of stocking up on reusable lunch gear can be prohibitive. Obviously, reusable pay off in the long-run, but if you’ve got three kiddos in school, gathering that much reusable lunch gear can be a real money issue. Luckily, while some reusable lunch gear is expensive, you can find deals. Check out the following posts for tips about decent reusable lunch gear.

+ The Plastic Sandwich Bag Flunks

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