• Every school lunch box dilemma solved for you

    January 22, 2019 • HOME, PLASTIC FREE / WASTE FREE

    Waste Free Lunch Boxes - Bento Boxes - YumBox

    The start of a new school year holds wonderful memories of crisp, blank exercise book pages, a clean eraser, and freshly sharpened pencils! But these days, there is also the challenge of meeting the school’s policies for healthy lunches and waste free lunch box packing—although many of us are already trying to live with less plastic and less waste in any case!

    One Prep school says they must have two different containers for morning tea and lunch, while another says they need to be packed in the same box… A multi-level primary school says no metal water bottles because dropped from a height a full stainless steel bottle is a dangerous missile… Another wants no waste at all left at school including food scraps!

    Biome founder, Tracey Bailey, says what she loves about the move towards ‘nude food’ or waste free lunches that are free of disposable packaging, is that lunches can become healthier as a by-product. Less packaging generally means less processed foods, less additives, and more simple, whole foods.

    It also means less money taken from a school’s budget to deal with lunch-time waste, less litter blown into our waterways, and a generation of young people growing up more conscious about their impact on the environment. Wins all round!

    Every day in Biome’s four Brisbane stores and via our customer service help line (1300 301767), we help with the dilemmas faced by parents. So, if we don’t cover your problem here, please see our offer at the end of this post for a Personal Shopper Service!

    Here’s the top lunch box dilemmas we can help solve for you, starting with the number one “My child’s school has banned plastic wrap!”:

    1. No disposable plastic wrap

    Reusable sandwich pouch or food wrap with velcro4MyEarth, Keep Leaf, beeswax wraps or vegan wax wraps.

    Reusable zip-lock bags – Stasher, EcoPocket

    Bento-style boxYumbox, Planetbox, or any individual container avoids the need for wrapping small bits of food in cling wrap.

    2. Low cost

    You will save money by not buying plastic wrap again. Not just for lunches, but for all your food storage, make do instead with containers, plates as lids, or reusable silicone lids.

    Avoiding snacks packed in single serve packaging such as popcorn, biscuits, fruit and yoghurt costs more than buying one large amount. Divide food into small reusable containers yourself and keep a bunch on hand that are just as quick to grab.

    Make your own beeswax wraps – find our recipe here

    Wasted food costs money, so involve your child in packing lunch so they are more likely to eat what they have chosen.

    And, please see our links at the end of this post with more ideas to help.

    3. No fridge to keep cool

    All of Biome’s choices are free from harmful PVC and lead, which many other vinyl insulated bags contain.  Our top picks are:

    PACKit freezable insulated bag with a built in gel liner so there is no ice brick to keep track of.

    Fridge to Go with special ice block and fabric technology that keeps cool all day long.

    Other insulated lunch bags with a sweat free ice block – SoYoung, Keep Leaf, Lunchbots, Planetbox.

    Many people want a lunch bag that does not go smelly or mouldy after a few uses. Often this is due to the condensation inside the bag – ask your child to keep the lunch box sealed/closed up to keep it as cool as possible until they get home, then at home open it up right away, wipe it out with vinegar and water and leave open to dry in the sun or fresh air.

    With Greenpaxx silicone tubes you can freeze a snack like a yoghurt.

    See our range of ice packs without toxic blue goo inside.

    4. Sports water bottle that does not leak

    Water bottles with a screw top such as Klean Kanteen do not leak if screwed fully closed, but some kids prefer more of a sipper or sports top.

    The new Cheeki Sports Water Bottle Lid – Tri-tech has been popular, shown here:

    For young children the EcoCocoon insulated stainless steel  or Contigo plastic bottles or Themos Funtainer insulated sipper bottles.

    5. Needs to fit a sandwich

    Lunch boxes – Lunchbots Uno, Goodbyn Hero

    Or use a sandwich wrap – as we explained at number 1. above.

    6. Needs to fit a whole piece of fruit

    An average size Pink Lady apple or a peach or mandarin is about 7cm high.

    Most choices will fit a cut up apple or orange, but for a whole small apple or orange, the deepest is Cheeki Hungry Max 1.6L at 8cm deep. It has no internal dividers so you will also need reusable wraps or more small containers inside.  See it here:

    U Konserve To-Go Square Container 1.4L is 7.5cm high.

    7. A lunch box that does not leak

    Go Green lunch box – completely leak proof with an easy to use lock on the outside which ensures a seal for the internal sections.

    U Konserve stainless steel nesting trio – the lids on these containers are leak proof, though suitable for older children as they are tight to close.

    Yumbox – is not leak proof for watery foods such as watermelon, but it is suitable for foods with the consistency of tomato sauce, hummus, yoghurt, and veggie dips.

    Goodbyn – the larger compartments of the Goodbyn hero are not leak proof, but two dippers that come with the Hero are leak proof and ideal for yoghurt, dips or sauce.

    All our insulated food jars – leak proof and are perfect for keeping food like pasta warm or yoghurt and fresh fruit cool until lunch time.

    8. Leak proof with no plastic at all

    With all stainless steel containers there is still a need for a small silicone seal to provide the leak proof function. Food does not however touch this seal.

    Onyx stainless steel containers particularly the little Onyx dipper here is very handy.

    Kilner Glass Food on the Go Jar 1 Litre or 500ml or Glass container with glass lid.

    Beetbox glass container with aluminium lid – silicone under lid.

    Lunchbots insulated 12oz and 16oz food jars – stainless steel under the lid although the outer lid is plastic

    Not completely leak proof, but pretty tight – Green Essentials Triple Layer Bento Box 1500ml

    Planetbox – designed to keep foods from touching (some crumbs may transfer), however it is not leak proof. The dippers have a silicone lid and are leak proof. They are sold separately or come with the Planetbox complete kit.

    9. Lunch boxes that can be put in the dishwasher

    Goodbyn Hero and Bynto
    Planetbox – remember to take the magnets off the Planetbox first!

    Our stainless steel lunch boxes are all safe to put in the top rack of the dishwasher.

    10. Are replacement parts available?

    Most of our water bottle and lunch box ranges have replacement parts to ensure our products have as long life as possible. Please contact us and we will do our best to get from the supplier if not readily available on our website.

    11. Lunch bags that can be put in the washing machine

    SoYoung linen lunch bags

    12. Which lunch box fits in which bag?

    Please see this blog post where we have a comprehensive pictorial run down of what fits in each lunch bag!

    Which Lunch Box Fits in Which Insulated Lunch Bag

    More Help

    Packing a waste free lunch box – our customers’ tips

    How to pack a nude food zero waste lunch box

    How to put together a plastic free lunch box

    Customer reviews of our waste free lunch boxes

    Personal Shopper Service

    Do you have a dilemma we have not addressed? Our personal shopper service is open!

    Please email tracey.bailey@biome.com.au and we will recommend a solution for you.



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