August 07, 2013 08:00 ET

Facts and Tips to Make the Switch to a Litterless Lunch Easy and Cost-effective

As the start of school approaches, parents seeking the best options

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Aug. 7, 2013) - The allure is strong; single-portion, pre-packaged lunch solutions may save a few minutes, but result in less nutritious, more expensive and highly wasteful lunchtime meals.

In fact, the majority of waste in a school, after paper, is lunch product packaging. Before school starts in September many parents (as well as school boards) are looking for a litterless lunch solution.

Consider these facts:

  • Every year, an elementary student in Ontario sends to landfills their own body weight in waste from conventionally packed school lunches.
  • By taking a litterless lunch, you produce 89 per cent less waste when you avoid single-use, disposable containers and bags.
  • Litterless lunches save money; one Ontario school board calculated that a litterless lunch reduces lunch costs by $2.75 per day, or $550/year.
  • As pre-packaged convenience foods often contain higher levels of sodium, sugar and fat, a homemade lunch is a healthier option.

Five Things Every Parent Should Look For:

  1. Choose a lunch box or lunch bag that is big enough to accommodate sandwiches, and snacks as well as a thermos, ice packs, cutlery and a napkin, and yet small enough to fit in a backpack.
  2. Opt for something that is convenient for your child to carry.
  3. Both the lunch box/bag, as well as the containers that go in them, need to be easy to open for small hands.
  4. In addition to easy-to-open, food and beverage containers need to seal very tightly to ensure that no messy food or drink leaks into the lunch bag or, worse, over homework!
  5. For the sandwich, salad and snack containers, look for materials like bisphenol-A-free, phthalate-free plastic, 18-gauge stainless steel or reusable organic cotton sandwich bags.

Litterless Lunch Options for September 2013

SoYoung Lunch Boxes - The detachable strap means that this lunch box can be worn like a messenger bag or backpack. Choose from plenty of retro designs (rockets, scooters and more!), and there's even an extra back pocket for cutlery, napkins, or artwork.

Kids Konserve Stainless Steel Nesting Trio Containers - The three containers are made from 304 food-grade stainless steel, and the leak-proof lids are free of BPA, lead, and phthalates. An alternative to plastic baggies, the reusable food storage containers are perfect for packing fruit, pasta salad, chips and hummus, apples and peanut butter and more!

Sistema 1.4L Lunch Cube To Go - This clever lunch cube opens up into two halves, one half large enough for a hearty sandwich, and the other sectioned into spaces for snacks, fruit and dessert. Sistema products are free of bisphenol A, bisphenol S and phthalates.

About terra20

A pioneer in green department store retailing, terra20 works closely with brand partners and customers to find the most environmentally sound products available. terra20's first store and head office are in Ottawa. The company plans to open additional stores across Canada in the near future and has an online store with more than 8,000 product offerings. For more information visit www.terra20.com.

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