When it comes to eco-awareness, we must start young! As the school year begins for kids all around the country this month, one important thing to think about is, how can I facilitate the most eco-friendly school year possible for my children? It took a bit of time, but this year I was intent upon finding the most eco-friendly NON-PLASTIC washable food and drink containers possible.
I also wanted these items to be made in the USA, which was a major challenge. Using reusit.com, I was able to find some great choices, but still couldn't find glass water bottles and containers made completely in the USA (to which we at Water Gallery can relate, having searched for premium swing-top glass water bottles made in the USA for our very own product, to no avail-- hence, we get our Rocco Bormioli bottles from Italy because they're the best ones being made right now. Someday we hope to find a US-based supplier).
Luckily I was able to find really cool and eco-friendly washable snack and sandwich bags made by a company called Planet Wise. Completely made in America, these environmentally responsible cloth food pouches are a phenomenal alternative to plastic baggies and even plastic tupperware containers (we are just trying to avoid plastic in general these days even if it is reusable).
These cloth snack and sandwich pouches are chemical free and even top-of-the- dishwasher safe (or even easier, simply wipe clean and air dry)! I am really excited about these. I also found some kid-friendly reusable water bottles made of glass with a plastic outer sleeve (just to protect the glass; doesn't touch the liquid inside the bottle).
These are made by a company called Lifefactory with components either in the US or Europe (the bottles are made in France, but the colorful protective sleeve and the cap are made in the US). Since the glass water bottles are only 9 oz. size, they're not too heavy for the kids to carry around and easily refillable at the water refill stations at their school (kudos to their school for those!).
It's really important to model eco-friendly choices for our kids. Providing them with reusable water bottles (glass is best, but reusable plastic water bottles are sound choices, too-- avoid single-use plastic whenever possible!), washable snack and sandwich containers, and of course reusable lunch boxes/sacks are so crucial, both for the environment and to show your kids that their daily choices make a difference for the world around us.
Since kids spend so much of their time at school, it's imperative to encourage them to spread the word to their teachers and school administrators to implement greener choices at school-- recycling in the classroom, reduced trash at lunch (or even trash-free lunch!), water bottle refill stations for filling reusable water bottles, etc...eco-friendly knowledge and habits start in childhood. Let's teach our kids to be mindful of our natural world with every choice they make!