Its back to school time! Many parents are shelling out big bucks at the store to get their kids ready for the new year – buying pencils, papers and lunchboxes.
If you are like me, you probably worry about the cost and environmental impact of multiple plastic sandwich baggies that usually get tossed after a single use. A few years ago, we blogged about reusable lunch skins. Now, there is another option that might be even better for parents that worry about their investment in reusable lunch containers: Bright bin!
These handy containers are portion-sized to help your kids organize lunch without plastic baggie waste. They are made from non-toxic materials, including BPA-free plastic and are 100% dishwasher and microwave safe.
Brightbins can be inserted into lunchboxes, or used on their own. There is room for a sandwich, and several smaller compartments for fruit, crackers or other sides. Estimates are that the average brown-bag lunch requires 4 plastic baggies. If you pack lunch 5 days a week for a year, that amounts to nearly 1000 bags per person (with four kids in our family, that is an astounding number of plastic baggies!)
Saving plastic bags will save some significant money in your family’s average budget. Of course, going green at lunchtime is the environmentally-sensitive thing to do, as well. Set a good green example for your family by selecting reusable containers rather than plastic baggies.
Consider these facts from the Brightbin website:
- 1000 years: Some scientists estimate that it can take up to 1000 years for one plastic bag to decompose. However, the estimated number of years for a plastic bag to degrade in a landfill is somewhat disputed. Because plastic bags have been around for roughly 50 years, there is no way to know exactly how long this process will take.
- 500,000,000,000 and 1,000,000,000,000 (look at all those zeros!): The number of plastic bags used worldwide each year.
- 80% of all plastic bags are used in North America and Western Europe.
- 100,000,000,000 plastic bags are thrown away by Americans each year.
- 60,000: The number of plastic bags used in the U.S. every five seconds.
- Over 100,000 seabirds, dolphins, whales, and other sea animals are killed each year by plastic bag use. These animals often mistake plastic bags for food and die after ingesting them because the bags have obstructed their digestive systems. Or the sea animals get entangled in them and suffocate or starve to death as a result.
- Roughly 12 million barrels are oil is used annually to make the plastic bags that Americans consume.
Back to school time – look at all that math! I think the best solution is to invest in green lunchboxes like Brightbin, for year-round savings that don’t add up to so much pollution and waste.