Reviews and discounts and giveaways, oh my!
Boy oh boy have I got a lot of information and goodies for you today. In my previous Lunchbox Dilemma post, I talked about all of the options out there for eco-friendly lunch boxes. In the end, I decided just to make due with the tupperware we have, since the eco-friendly options aren't really in our budget right now.
To my happy surprise, I had a few product review offers for said lunch systems shortly thereafter. (Yeah, next time I'll whine about needing a Prius.) I really try not to be a product whore, because that's not what being green is all about, so I end up deleting a lot of "Your readers will love our $100 eye cream!" emails. But since these lunch systems will definitely be used, used and used some more, I was happy to test 'em out.
So let's get to it!
First is the Waste-Free Lunch Kit by Kids Konserve.
For $42 you get a recycled cotton sack, cloth napkin, 304 food-grade stainless steel beverage bottle, food kozy and two 304 food-grade stainless steel food containers.
- Mine arrived in a pre-used box with ZERO waste to throw away. Loves it!
- The sack I received was not actually cotton, but it was made from recycled plastic bottles which I thought was cool.
- No plastic containers!
- The products (with one exception listed below) were all high-quality, easy to use, and work well.
- The "food cozy" seemed really cheap. I evidently didn't read the website closely enough and thought it was going to be cloth for some reason. It's actually plastic, albeit "recycled, FDA approved, non-toxic, non-leaching, recyclable PE plastic" that "does not contain Bisphenol-A (BPA) and is Phthalate free."
- The products are made in China and India. The company assures me that, "We work with a variety of suppliers...many whom we have known for years and practice fair trade principals." It's always hard to know what to believe in this case, but I'd like to hope a green company like Kids Konserve is genuine in saying this.
From now until September 30th, you can get 15% off your Kids Konserve purchase by using the coupon code "green".
Next up is Citizen Pip's Soup-to-Nuts kit...
"Citizenpip is muck-free: no lead, BPA, PVC, or phthalates." That tag line should answer up front many questions we have when looking at lunch systems. They also claim to surpass FDA and CPSIA standards.
For $55, you can get the "Soup to Nuts" kit which, as it's name indicates, holds just about anything and everything you might want to send for lunch. The kit includes 1 insulated lunch bag with name tag and carabiner, 1 stainless steel water bottle, 1 stainless steel insulated food jar (like a thermos), 4 BPA-free airtight food containers, 1 stainless steel fork + spoon set, 5 100% cotton napkins.
- The price seems steep, but you get a lot for your money. To get this much storage in the Kids Konserve package you'd have to add their $20 thermos, additional napkins, and more food containers.
- The containers vary in size - small for dips, yogurt, nuts, dessert, etc. up to a large size that is perfect for a sandwich.
- I love that the thermos in included in this package. I tested it out and it keeps food hot for several hours. (You can also get the $42 package that doesn't include the thermos or utensils.)
- They give you 5 napkins so you don't have to worry if you washed them during the week.
- Again, products are made in China and Taiwan.
- The silverware, drink bottle and thermos arrived in individual plastic sleeves.
- The food containers are plastic. They are "muck free" so I'm not worried about that aspect, I just have an aversion to purchasing plastic, even if it is recyclable plastic.
From now until September 30th, you can receive 10% off a minimum $40 purchase on Citizen Pip's website using the coupon code "greenhab10".
I'm really torn between these two kits. I think both have given us some nice, eco-friendly options.
I'm not wild about all the plastic with the Citizen Pip kit, but I do know that this is something we'll be using for years to come, so I wouldn't feel as guilty using it as I would buying something that serves a one-time purpose (like putting a gogurt tube or a pudding cup in their lunch boxes).
I love the steel food containers in the Kids Konserve package, but you don't seem to get quite as much for your money. I think it's the cheapy "food cozy" that's throwing me off there, because it really is a nice kit.
Most likely the decision will have to be a personal one based on your child's lunch needs. You can also customize your lunch box by picking and choosing which items you want, rather than purchasing a pre-made kit. And both companies have programs where schools can get a portion of proceeds for getting their students to go green.
Since this is my first year packing lunches (and for two kids no less!), I need some ideas. Leave me a comment with your lunch ideas or tips and you will be entered to win one of Citizen Pip's Square Meal Kits including lunch bag, 5 napkins, water bottle and 4 lunch containers.
(Open to US residents only, sorry. But you can still leave me your tips if you're outside the US! Also, you'll have the option to choose which bag style you prefer. Winner will be chosen at random on Friday, August 28th.)
Updated to add a few more discount coupon codes...
The website www.NubiusOrganics.com is offering 10% off if you use the code "eco10". Nubius offers PVC-free backpacks as well as products from many green suppliers like To-Go Ware and Laptop Lunches.
Laptop Lunches is offering 20% off their bento box style lunch systems using code "ideal55".
Also, some folks have asked about the washability of the Kids Konserve and Citizen Pip lunch boxes. Citizen Pip is really easy to wipe down inside because the entire top zips open. I wouldn't put it in the washing machine, but you could certainly wash it out in the sink. The Kids Konserve bag opens at the top like a sack, so it's a little harder to get to, but I have just put it under the spigot and run water directly into the bag to clean it. I turned it upside down to dry.
Hope that helps!