I’ve been thinking about eco friendly lunch boxes lately.
It started when I was putting away the plastic food containers my husband takes to work every day.
They’re looking a little old and tattered and it occurred to me that they’ve been around awhile. Perhaps even pre-BPA concerns.
So, I quickly got online and searched the company websites for each of the brands of plastic food storage containers we own to look up BPA and phthalate information for their products.
I was lucky, they were all BPA free.
What is BPA?
BPA stands for bisphenol A, which is a compound used in many plastics. You may remember that it became quite controversial in 2007, when it was found to have hormone-like properties that had potential health effects. A panel of experts concluded that there was some concern regarding BPA’s effects on brain development and behaviour, particularly in infants and developing foetuses.
As a result, plastic water bottles and many other plastic products containing BPA were taken off the market.
I clearly bought our containers post-2007 BPA scare or was simply lucky. Either way, my husband is safe to continue to transport his food.
Although plastic wouldn’t be my first choice these days, it’s more environmentally friendly to keep using what we have than to buy something else.
However, it did get me thinking about what my son will use later this year when he starts to go to school. The plastic containers we have aren’t easy for him to open on his own, so what alternatives are out there?
Seven eco friendly lunch box options
After much internet searching, I’ve come across a number of different options for eco-friendly lunch boxes. My criteria were that it had to be healthy for humans and the planet. For me, this meant completely reusable, BPA free, easy to use and clean, durable, and made with eco-friendly resources.
So, I pass this information onto you in the event that you are likewise questioning the transportation medium of your mid-day meal.
1 – EasyLunchboxes are a much talked about eco friendly lunchbox option. They come in a set of 4 and are made of propylene plastic that is BPA, PVC and phthalate free. They are dishwasher and microwave safe and they stack on top of each other so they take up less space when stored. They are compartmentalized, which reduces the amount of packaging needed for separate snacks and pleases those ‘I don’t want my food to touch’ kids out there. The lids are easy to open for kids, but it means they aren’t leak proof, so they’re better for dry food. The EasyLunchboxes can also come with an insulated cooler bag.
They were designed by a mom, so they are kid and mom friendly. They are highlighted in this video:
If plastic isn’t your thing
2 – Lunchbots makes a stainless steel food container either in a one compartment or double compartment version. They also make round leak-proof containers for liquids and thermal containers for hot things.
3 – Eco lunchbox makes a 3-in-1 set that is lead free with a pressure fitting stainless steel lid. It’s fairly small fitting, so may be more appropriate for kid’s lunches rather than adults or growing teenagers!
4 – New Wave also makes an enviro stainless steel container that’s a little bigger than the Lunchbots model.
5 – Another option is a stacking stainless steel container. You end up with 2 or 3 individual food containers that are very easy to clean and transport fairly easily. They come in 3.9” (10cm), 4.7” (12cm), or 5.5” (14 cm) diameter sizes so you can choose what works for you.
If you prefer a bag over a box
6 – If bags are more your style, have a look at the Mimi Lunchbug lunch bag made from organic cotton fabric with PVC-free, water-based acrylic coating. Then you can just use reusable produce bags or stainless steel containers for snacks and reusable sandwich bags for sandwiches as an eco friendly
If you are looking for the Rolls Royce of lunchboxes
7 – PlanetBox makes a compartmentalized stainless steel lunchbox with carry bag. It has 2 round lidded containers for additional snacks and it’s made out of safe, non-toxic and recycled materials. It contains no lead, PVC, phthalates or BPA. This is truly the Rolls Royce of eco friendly lunchboxes and the price reflects this, but it sure is a beauty!
I haven’t made up my mind as to which eco friendly lunch boxes I will invest in for my little one. I still have some time, after all. However, this exercise has made me realize that I need to give as much attention to what I put my food in as I do the food itself. Luckily, I work from home so that’s one less lunchbox required!