My son Cedar is the pickiest child alive… so when his school lunch box went by the wayside this summer, a feeling of dread grew inside of me knowing we’d have to find a new one. I picked out a bunch of eco-friendly lunch boxes, only to have Cedar snub them all. Lately, he’s been using a bamboo lunch sack for camp, and while it is eco-friendly, it’s also inappropriate for long-term use because it has no insulation. Then I heard about a new waste-free-lunch system – the Soup to Nuts Kit from Citizenpip. The Soup to Nuts kit is an all inclusive, reusable, waste-free lunch kit that puts a stylish end to disposable lunch trash woes. Read on to learn what earth-loving Cedar and I thought of Citizenpip’s reusable lunch kits.

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What’s included in the Soup to Nuts Kit:

The Citizenpip Soup to Nuts kit comes with an insulated lunch bag with a nametag and carabiner, so kids may easily attach their kit to their backpack. Also included are: an 18.5 oz stainless steel water bottle, a stainless steel insulated food jar, four BPA-free airtight food containers, one stainless steel fork + spoon set, and five 100% cloth cotton napkins. The lunch bag itself is currently available in three design styles – Yum, Eat, and Tasty. I prefer the ‘Tasty’ bag shown above (adorable!)… but knowing Cedar’s taste, I opted for the less flashy ‘Eat’ bag instead.

Eco-friendly aspects of the Soup to Nuts Kit:

  • Cuts out lunch disposables entirely. Good news since Waste-free lunches notes that the average school-age child generates 67 pounds of waste per school year if he/she eats a disposable lunch. That’s 18,760 pounds of lunch waste created each year at just one average-sized elementary school.
  • There is no lead, BPA, PVC, or phthalates in any of the Soup to Nuts Kit‘s components. Products are lab tested and exceed FDA and CPSIA standards.
  • The insulated lunch bag is made of non-woven polypropylene with aluminum. Polyethylene is a plastic fabric, but is a somewhat greener choice for bags — being that you can (in most cases) find a recycling center for it.
  • The water bottle and insulated food jar are made of 304 food grade single wall stainless steel with polypropylene cap and silicone gasket – all are completely non-toxic.
  • The fork and spoon are made with 18/0 food grade stainless steel with high impact polystyrene plastic handles and this type of polystyrene is recyclable.
  • The company gives money back to your school through their school program; meaning that when you use a special code at the website shop, Citizenpip will give a percentage of all sales attributed to this promotion code back to your school. To get more information and/or sign up for the [email protected] program, email the company at [email protected].

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What we loved:

  • This is the ONLY lunch kit you need to pack an entirely waste-free lunch. There’s plenty of room within the bag and containers for an entire lunch and some snacks.
  • Even when I packed the lunch bag full with all four food containers, the insulated food jar, and silverware, I could still fit a small icepack inside. Plus, the bag is insulated to begin with. Cedar’s cold food stayed chilly and the insulated container kept his warm food warm.
  • The bag looked small but fit a lot as noted above. Depending on what I packed, there was still room for some extra treats tucked in our reusable snack baggies.
  • The napkins are a great size. Good for use as a napkin or as an impromptu placemat.
  • The containers held food in without the lids coming off, and the insulated container and water bottle didn’t leak. Trust me, I bounced them around a lot for good measure.
  • Cedar said he’d use it! Overall he liked the design, with some minor issues (see below in cons).

What we didn’t love:

  • Cedar did like the design, but not excessively. Citizenpip makes some really cute bags (I LOVE them) but none are stereotypically boy-friendly. Cedar is a total boy – dirt, cars, rocks and so on, thus pastels or bright colors are not his first choice. I talked to Citizenpip owner Christina about this and she told me, “I know what you mean – I have 3 boys – and they’re all definitely dudes. The younger two like the current designs – but my oldest uses the BYOB kit. Next round, I plan on doing older/edgier (and more boyish) designs – but we wanted to start with something that could appeal to both genders (which is harder as the kids get older).
  • The cloth napkins aren’t organic cotton. Cedar, who is big on organics, even asked if they were, and I had to say no. It’d be an easy switch to substitute with non-chemical organic cotton.
  • The water bottle is too small for an older kid. Cedar has a 27 oz Klean Kanteen and he always drinks all the water in it before the school day is over. You can easily send an extra BPA free reusable water bottle to school though.
  • It’s noted that the lunch bag and fork + spoon set are made in Taiwan, and all other products are made in China, but there’s no disclaimer about work conditions on the Citizenpip website (i.e. is it Fair Trade, ethical, etc.).

Overall Review:

Cedar was excited to show his friends his new Citizenpip lunch kit, which I took as a thumbs-up Cedar recommendation. In spite of the minor flaws noted above, I really like this lunch kit. I love the safety aspects (muck free) and am thrilled that Cedar will actually carry it because now my lunch box worries are over. Plus, this lunch kit is a huge value. No buying foil or plastic baggies which are an ongoing cost to you and the environment. I would absolutely recommend the Soup to Nuts Kit as a smart, waste-free lunch packing choice. NOTE: for easy packing of daily lunches, buy an extra set of the BPA free food containers so you don’t have to rewash them daily.

+ Soup to Nuts Kit $55

+ Extra set of BPA free food containers $12

+ Citizenpip

via Petite Planet