Tools for School: Lunchboxes

Tools for School

It’s that time again! Summer’s coming to an end (happily for some and not so happily for others) and that means back to school shopping. Er, for some of us, anyway. Prepping the classroom for the new school year is one of my favorite teacher jobs. I like to spruce up the classroom with a few new items here and there. It’s not just about replacing that which is old and worn, but injecting new life, excitement, and interest into a much-loved environment.

Similarly, I like to buy a few new personal supplies at the start of the new year. Every other August or so sees me replacing the¬†HydroFlask I simply could not live without. I’m sorry–did you just ask me what a HydroFlask is? Only the best water bottle ever! It’s insulated, so it keeps your water cold for “up to 24 hours.” I’ve never actually timed it, but I¬†have¬†left it in my car on a hot day and returned to find my¬†water still¬†deliciously, refreshingly cold. Plus, they come in many sizes and colors!


We’re not just big on reusable water bottles here at MSO, we also believe in no-trash lunches. Many of our students (er, parents?) simplify by signing up for our delicious Hot Lunch program, but many still brown bag it. Metaphorically speaking, of course! Lunch boxes are as much a form of personal expression as one’s temporary butterfly tattoo or wearing your Spider-Man PJs to school five days a week.

That’s why I thought it would be fun to feature some no-trash lunch-box accoutrements today, starting with my personal favorite. A few students at MSO already have these, which is how they caught my eye. Maybe you’ve already heard of PlanetBox–they’re the ultimate in Bento-style lunch boxes. I love them, but you have to be willing to invest in a quality product. Here’s a look a lunch someone’s packed for inspiration:

PlanetBox Details:

  • Price: $34.95-$55.95
  • Case: Yes, but they cost extra
  • Icepack: Yes, but it costs extra
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes
  • Customizable: Yes! Comes with free magnets on your first purchase, $3.95 for each additional set.

This one’s for the adults, but never fear, the company caters for all ages. ECOlunchbox is also known for its no-trash lunch aids, but the sets tend to be separate, multi-piece items rather than bento-style. I like this oval box and origami tote–it looks perfect for salads:




And for kids, they have this impossibly cute nesting three-in one. I guess adults can use it too!:

ECOlunchbox Details:

  • Price: Individual containers begin at $8.00. The largest, most expensive kit (incl. three pieces) is $45.00.
  • Case: Yes, but they cost extra
  • Icepack:¬†No
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes
  • Customizable:¬†No–all the boxes are simple stainless steel.

This cute lunch box from Bentgo is little-kid friendly. It snaps open and shut, the inner tray is removable, and the rubberized lid supposedly makes it leak-proof. Of course, I love the color…


Bentgo Details:

  • Price:¬†$27.99
  • Case:¬†No
  • Icepack:¬†No
  • Dishwasher Safe: Tray only–it’s recommended you hand-wash the outer shell.
  • Customizable:¬†No, but it comes in green, purple, and blue.

One of my go-to sources for lunch supplies has been Mixed Bag Designs, which is why I’m glad that we’ll be doing another fundraiser with the company this year. For those of you unfamiliar, Mixed Bag Designs features reusable grocery bags, insulated lunch totes, organizational supplies and lots of other fun stuff in bright prints and patterns. Here’s a selection from the online catalog:

Mixed Bag Designs

 Mixed Bag Details:

  • Price:¬†The Foodies, which are little envelopes for snacks and things, cost¬†$10.00, the lunch totes and thermoses are $16.00 and the glass water bottles top out at $22.00.
  • Icepack:¬†No
  • Dishwasher Safe: Varies. Foodies and other small containers containers are. Thermos and glass water bottle do not specify. Lunch tote is not, ha.
  • Customizable:¬†No, but they come in a variety of prints and patterns, as mentioned above!

Additional Note:

MSO gets 40% of your online purchase at Mixed Bag!¬†Visit the Friends and Family Fundraising Page and enter MSO’s fundraising code:



Last, but not least is Tupperware! As you may already know, MSO’s Lisa Batchelder-Hetrick is a Tupperware Consultant. She can give you the rundown on all the best trash-free lunch items, but I’d go with this lovely pink set. As an added bonus, Lisa’s donating 10% of sales that reference MSO to the school:

 Tupperware Details:


Whether¬†you bring a fancy new¬†lunchbox on the first day of school, we’ll just be happy to see you. Here’s to another fabulous year!


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