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Back to School

By Melissa Kane, Eco friendly Mum

As I pack my little cherubs back off to school and I finish doing the happy dance, I thought those new to the school system might like a heads up.  You might not understand the happy dance reference yet, but give it time.

There are a few tricks I have up my sleeve.

Tip #1, having two sons I colour code my children, Master S is blue and Master T is green, it is fabulous for visual learners and everyone in the household knows who it belongs to.   Fruit break, a universal god send to make it mandatory for your children to eat fruit at least once a day. Fruit like apples and bananas come in their own packaging. Carrots, celery and cucumber are acceptable alternatives.    I love the Smash/Nude brand of lunch boxes, snack containers, freezer blocks, drink bottles and the bag I put everything into and it fits! I find them affordable, durable, reusable, compact and well designed.   Reusable containers empower you to remove cling wrap and zip lock bags from lunchboxes. Sandwiches don’t need to be wrapped before going into the sandwich containers, they keep fresh.

Tip #2 make sandwiches from frozen bread in the morning, no need to defrost.

Tip #3 buy multiples of each size container, the masters in my household are particularly forgetful so having a second set ready to go saves resorting to plastic wrapping.

Tip #4 invest in the good labels that stick to your containers for the containers entire lifespan (not the cute ones, your child won’t appreciate that from year 1 onwards), the boomerang effect of returning increases significantly. In fact, I buy four of each at the start of each school year, sometimes containers never come home, I trust that wherever they are re-homed to, they still get used. Losing Tupperware can bring a tear to the eye.

Tip #5 cleaning drink bottles with steel wool at the end of a bottle brush to keep the dreaded mould away.

Tip #6 buy big box of biscuits and divide into snack packs, added bonus, save money.

Tip #7 start training your children very young to do this themselves and eventually make their own lunch. Appeal to their love of the environment to choose to have a trash free lunch box.

Tip #8 school canteens generally sell reusable school canteen bags.

Now I’m off to finish my happy dance, enjoy the school year!