ecomii - a better way
May 27, 2018  |  Login

Pack a Waste-Free Lunch

Reduce waste and save money while you pack your school lunch.

  Email This Tip  | Back to All Tips

What are Ratings?
Impact ecomii tips impactecomii tips impactecomii tips impact
Health ecomii tips healthecomii tips health
Savings ecomii tips savingsecomii tips savingsecomii tips savings
Ease ecomii tips easeecomii tips easeecomii tips easeecomii tips ease

The average American student produces up to 67 pounds of waste from school lunches each year. Multiply that by the number of students at an average elementary school and you have nearly 19,000 pounds of garbage from lunch packaging alone. All this extra packaging is seriously costly-and not just to the environment. estimates that a family can save $246.60 per student per year by adopting waste-free lunch practices.

With some clever planning and creative thinking, you and your child can work together to create a waste-free lunch. Start with the lunch bag itself and then consider purchasing reusable drink, sandwich, fruit, and vegetable containers as well as stainless steel silverware and cloth napkins. Avoid individually wrapped items, juice boxes, and excess packaging.

Something else to think about: don't over pack. Extra lunch food tends to be thrown away by students eager to get outside for recess. Make sure only to pack what your child will actually eat.

There are many stylish and convenient options for students looking to green their school packing habits. Check out Laptop Lunches, for example. Founded by two moms trying to cut back on their kids' lunchtime waste, it's a company that sells functional and hip portable lunch containers modeled after the Japanese bento box. For tons of other choices, visit the "online lunch box superstore,"


Take Action / Next Steps
  • Learn all about cooking healthy and sustainable meals for your family in ecomii's Food Guide.


Prev Tip Next Tip
Did You Know?

Click below for more facts about this tip.


  1. Container Recycling Institute [6 March 2007] Updating the Bottle Bill. Available from: [10 October 2007]

  2. Earth 911. "Plastic Recycling Facts." Available from: [17 July 2008]

  3. Waste Free Lunches. Available from: [July 21, 2009]

ecomii featured poll

Vote for your Favorite Charity



ecomii resources
ecomii Tips Newsletter 

Sign up today to receive a weekly tip for living greener

Get in Touch

Got suggestions? Want to write for us? See something we could improve? Let us know!