Thursday, August 6, 2009
The lunchbox dilemma...
I've had my eye on these Bento lunch containers by Laptop Lunches for the kids since both Fletch and Macy will be taking their lunches to school this year. They're supposed to be very durable and long lasting. And, you know me, I love the organization and the fact that none of the food will touch.
But they're plastic. Albeit BPA and pthalate free, recyclable plastic, but plastic nonetheless.
Today I ran across the Goodbyn. How darn cute are these?? Forget the kids, I kind of want one for myself. They're made in the US and they're BPA and pthalate free. But they're still plastic.
I mean, if I'm going to buy plastic, I might as well get something like this Goodbyn or the Bento that will last a long time. After my kids outgrow them I can pass it along, or recycle it. It definitely won't end up in the landfill, but I'm just having a hard time justifying the purchase of something plastic. (Uh, even when I buy milk every week in a plastic container, or deodorant, or shampoo, or...) I do love that they're a smallish company who cares about manufacturing their product in the US.
Another option is the Waste-Free Lunch Kit by Kids Konserve. I think this is one of my favorites. It includes a recycled cotton sack, cloth napkin, stainless steel beverage bottle, food kozy and two stainless steel food containers.
Isn't it adorable? But for $40, well... I just can't justify that price. The kids already have SIGG bottles and I can make the napkin, bag and "food cozy". I may consider some of their mini stainless steel containers that run 4 for $15. I certainly wouldn't fault someone for spending $40 on this but, for our family, part of being green is being a little frugal too.
These tiffins by Happy Tiffin run $12.99 for their smallest 2-tier version, which is a decent price. The best feature, to me, is NO PLASTIC! However, I look at this and think I'm also going to have to send a drink bottle, possibly silverware, a napkin, etc. so this will need to go in a bag...or have a bag along with it. It doesn't seem all that practical for kids but, the more I think about it, the more ideas I have for a tiffin pouch w/ pockets for a napkin, utensils, and a place to attach a water bottle.
Mr. Greenhab and I have the grown-up version from To-Go Ware. They run $45 there with the carry bag and utensils. If you sign up for their mailing list you'll get coupons and specials though. I got both of ours for under $50 (Christmas gift) when I took a product survey for them last year.
While I think they'd work just fine for kids as well, I can't really see my Kindergartner saying "Mommy, can I puh-leeeeease use this????"
So... After much research and price comparing and swearing at my conscience, I decided that the best thing to do would be to use what we already have. Anticlimactic, right?
My mom bought the kids these little soft-sided insulated bags from Target's $1 section earlier this summer. They've been using them all summer to carry their toys around, but I think they'll be just as happy using them for their intended purpose.
They have SIGG bottles and real silverware that do just fine. I'll whip up a few snack bags, "food cozies", and cloth napkins out of the plethora of scrap fabric I have. And, if worse comes to worse, we can always use some of the tupperware we still have lingering around.
As much as I love "new" and "cute", I just can't bring myself to buy new when we can make due with the things we already have.