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Grocery News: Untrashy Lunch Box Goods

By Katy Killilea

How dare the trash-free lunch scene spawn so many tantalizing products? Well, if one must go on a consumer binge, better to binge on these than a jumbo carton of Zip-locs! Here are some new products we have tried, tested, and loved, each in their own way.Happy Sack In on kid o info

Happy Sacks! Snack and Sandwich Bags
– Takes the place of: all plastic bags.
– Good for people who: seek a very easy way to avoid disposable bags.
– The details: Happy Sacks! offers lined bags in a gazillion fabrics–Orla Kiley-ish prints, geometric patterns, skulls & crossbones, fidgety aliens, bunnies, and other kid favorites. Larger bags are available as well.
– Washing instructions: machine washable and dishwasher safe.
– $6.95 (snack size bag); $8.95 (sandwich size bag)

Wrap-n-mats (pictured below)
– Takes the place of: plastic wrap, tin foil, or wax paper.
– Good for people who: pack traditional sandwiches on square-ish bread.
– The details: these lined fabric mats close with Velcro, allowing your PB&J to be swaddled like a newborn. The mat will keep the bread fresh, and–once unfolded–functions as a placemat. A brilliant idea when you’re eating at a table that hasn’t been cleaned by someone who necessarily loves you.
– Washing instructions: hand wash, air dry.
– $5.00-$6.50, depending on the fabric you choose

Wrap N Mat In kid o infoWrap N Mat Open on kid o info

No Trash Lunch Kit from QwertyO
– Takes the place of: your former method of packing lunch
– Good for people who: like to brown bag it and want a whole figured-out, family-tested system for trash free lunch.
– The details: this set includes a cloth bag (the shape and size of a traditional paper lunch bag, in your choice of many fabrics–including Funky Chicken, plaid, and SpongeBob), three small bags to hold fruits and snacks, and five cloth napkins, one for each day of the school week. Custom orders are welcome.
– Washing instructions: all components of this kit are machine washable. The small bags are easy to rinse at the kitchen sink and air dry in a jiffy.
– $16.50

Cloth Snack bag from Violet Thistle
– Takes the place of: throwing a naked snack into your purse or diaper bag
– Good for people who: like cute fabrics, a place for everything, and everything in its place
– The details: many fabric options, from darling calico to camouflage. Custom orders are welcome.
– Washing instructions: machine wash and dry.
– $7.99

Savvy Snack bag from Polka Dot Square
– Takes the place of: a plastic snack bag
– Good for people who: love a fabric bag but miss being able to view the contents without opening it.
– The details: organic cotton and bamboo fabrics take Savvy Snacks to the next level of ecological correctness. Custom orders are welcome.
– Washing instructions: wipe clean, air dry.
– $24.50

Lands’ End Character Lunch Box
– Takes the Place of: a plain soft-sided lunch box
– Good for people who: love stuffed animals and have neither a heavy workload nor other cargo in their backpack (making it feasible to include a large head–dog, horse, or polar bear). In other words, kindergarteners.
– The details: this lunch box is simple and rectangular, lightly insulated, and ordinary in every way except for the awesome addition of a giant animal head. Puffy ballet slippers also available.
– Washing instructions: wipe interior clean with sponge. Advise child to refrain from wiping nose on animal head.
– $29.50

Photo credits: Katy Killilea

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10 comments
  • I saw Happy Sacks changed its name to SNACK TAXI and the Etsy shops were closed due to pregnancy. Fast times in the trash free lunch biz.

  • Michelle R-R: I think ordering online is the fastest choice–I have seen Happy Sacks in person in Boston…everything else I found online.

    But I bet there are lunch bags for sale at the Providence Open market. Those people are crafty.

  • Thanks for this Katy! We have completely eliminated plastic bags (of all kinds)at our house and the Wrap-n-Mat is one of our ways to do that! We’ve been using them for a couple of years, even Dad uses them for his sandwiches for work! I am so glad to see other options as well for foods that don’t go as well in the Wrap-n-Mat, like popcorn!

  • What an attractive and informative article-even if you’re not shopping for a lunchbox! Where does that dear lad get his hair cut?

  • Katy – You are such a funny writer and this quote – “when you’re eating at a table that hasn’t been cleaned by someone who necessarily loves you” – sums up aspects of the whole kindergarten experience for me!
    Just to add to the discussion of waste-free lunch solutions, we’ve been using our Laptop Lunch system (www.laptoplunches.com) for two years now and we LOVE it. It’s a bento-style insert that can fit into most lunchboxes. You can throw whatever you want into the little compartments, close the lid, and it’s all right there when your little one opens it…great for the challenge of the short lunch break. And it goes right in the dishwasher!

  • some of these bags are from etsy–the sellers featured here make lots of cool things and the lunch-specific items can be found within their etsy shops.

Written by Katy Killilea