Pack Your Lunch

Now that people are going back to school, it is time to think about portable food.     For centuries, people used non-disposable items to carry lunches.  Pouches, saddlebags and fabric wraps were commonly used.   A familiar icon of post industrial America is the hinged metal lunch box with domed top for a thermos.   In my school days, in the ’60s and ’70s, kids used fun metal boxes showing  TV characters for lunch boxes, but still used disposable plastic bags and napkins.  Today, ecoconscious folks try to have everything reusable.

Naturally, everyone in ecoetsy has reusable food bags, right? 

The ultimate in lunch packing may be glueandglitters’ Lunch Kits.  They contain your choice of reusable utensils or chopsticks,

 5 washable cloth napkins, and 2 locking plastic containers.

The lunch bags and napkins are made from remnants and she will put a custom decoration on for you if requested.

If you are a do-it-yourselfer, (and aren’t most ecoetsians?)  she lists copies of “Lunch Bags”, with 25  designs to sew yourself.

A bit less expensive, still eco friendly, and perfect for school, is MontclairMade’s lunch bag with matching pencil case.   

Of course, with this one, you would need to add your own inner goodies.  Use your own utensils.  You can get a set of 3 different size bags made from rip-stop nylon from Kootsac:

My personal favorite is these purple ones.  You can also get blue, yellow, red or white.

Picnicbasketcrafts has sets of 6 mini napkins you could pack.

All this talk of lunch is making me hungry.  Here’s a recipe from “More Make Your Own Groceries” for homemade portable breakfast food.  Make your own  Poptarts.

Pop Up Tarts         Makes 8

1/2 c sugar                             1/2 c vegetable shortening

2 eggs                                        2 1/2 c flour                 2 tsp baking powder

Your choice of jam, marmalade, preserves or fruit butter

Optional:  1 egg white; milk; sugar

Cream together sugar and shortening, beating until light.  Beat the eggs until creamy, then stir in the flour and baking soda to make a soft dough.  Divide the dough evenly into 16 balls.  Roll each ball to flatten it somewhat.  Place on a plate; cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Grease a cookie sheet.  Roll 1 dough ball into a rectangular shape, abuot 1/16″ thick.  Spread 1 eaping teaspoon of filling evenly over the rectangle, leaving a generous margin.  Roll out another dough ball to about the same shape and lay it neatly over the first.  Trim to about 3 1/2 x 5″.  Crimp edges together with a fork or your fingers.  Place on cookie sheet and prick with a fork.  Repeat with remaining dough balls and any trimmed off dough.

Optional:  Lightly beat egg white with sugar.  Brush the tops with this mixture and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 min..  Prick the Poptarts again in the first 10 minutes of baking to keep them flat.   Cool, then wrap and store them in your refrigerator or freezer.

To serve:  thaw, if frozen, place in toaster and toast once.

Are you ready for school now?

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  1. Hi, I would love to add suggestions about healthy and eco-friendly living. Use of plastic is really a waste and the alternative to it is stainless steel container and a reusable cloth lunch container. It’s both stylish and awesome! But what makes a difference between the two alternative is that, on stainless steel container, you can pack all your favorite lunches in separate plates in one single carrier. You can stack liquids in it too such as soups, juices, etc. While on reusable cloth lunch container, you can only stack dry goods. 😉

  2. have you checked out home-made starch in a spray bottle? No chemicals, no aerosol propellant and no can! Found this at

  3. Great post! Those pop tarts sound terrific and you introduced me to a couple new EcoEtsians that I hadn’t heard of before. Plus the nostalgia came right back — I had a Pigs in Space Muppets metal lunch box as a kid!

  4. Really sweet post! Your pop-up tarts sound like just the thing for my bumper crop of blackberries – yum! Thank-you for including my purple Kootsacs.

  5. Aw, thank you so much for including my Lunch Kits with these awesome lunch packing options!