Wednesday, December 08, 2010
When it comes to packing school lunches, I try to make sure that what goes inside my kids' lunchbox is as good for the earth as it is for my kids' bodies. That means no disposable plastic bags for sandwiches, fruit, popcorn and the like. Even if I wanted to use plastic bags (and sometimes, when I'm running late, I really, really want to), my kids keep me honest; they constantly remind me, "No plastic bags, mama!". Their school has an ongoing waste reduction program where they count each and every plastic bag that gets thrown away, so the kids are very aware of the impact that a daily plastic sandwich bag can make.
Over the years I've amassed a collection of reusable containers for the kids' lunches -- cloth sandwich bags, plastic sandwich boxes, plastic containers of various sizes, etc.. -- and I'm always on the lookout for other products. I've found that containers with multiple compartments seem to work best, so I was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to review a bento-style lunchbox from Bright Bin.
The New Generation Lunchbox from Bright Bin is an environmentally responsible lunch container that's easy and convenient for the people preparing the lunch. Here is a list of features of the Bright Bin.....
* 100% waste-free. * No plastic bags and no lids or small storage containers to get lost. * Can be used on its own as a lunch box or can be inserted inside any insulated lunch bag to replace plastic bags, reusable bags, and small food storage containers. * Non-toxic: made of food safe polypropylene free of BPA, phthalates, lead, and PVC. * Save time! Making lunch has never been easier or faster since food goes directly into the built-in food compartments. * Save money! Save over $60 each year by not buying plastic bags, disposable pre-packaged snack bags, or food storage containers. * Dishwasher and microwave oven safe. * Option to come with a VELCRO® brand Fastener to fasten the lunch box into the lunch bag. * Conforms to or exceeds U.S. and European safety standards
This has got to be the perfect lunch container! Check it out:
The top section is the perfect size and shape for a sandwich (or in this case, a spinach and turkey wrap). You can also put pasta or hummus in it because this section has rubber around the rim to help prevent leaks.
The middle section has 3 compartments, bento-box style, so you can pack a multi-course meal without fiddling with lots of tiny (read: easy to lose) containers or wasteful plastic bags. I love being able to pack chips and not worry about them becoming soggy. It's perfect for picky kids who don't like different foods touching each other.
The whole thing snaps shut without any separate lids (so they don't get lost or accidentally thrown out with the lunch table trash). The instructions recommend practicing with your child a couple of times to get the hang of opening and closing the latch, but neither I nor my kids had any problem working it. It's really easy, and it keeps everything shut nice and tight!
The cutest thing of all is the little handle that flips up, so it can be a stand-alone lunchbox -- I don't think I've ever seen that in a bento box! You can also keep the handle down and pack the whole thing into a bigger lunch container.
The Bright Bin is microwave and dishwasher safe, so it's convenient and time-saving. It's free from all those nasty chemicals, and it's reusable, so you're saving money and saving the earth. I love it!
There's really only one enhancement I'd love to see for the Bright Bin: I wish there was some way I could dismantle it so I can put it in my dishwasher! The Bright Bin is dishwasher-safe, but it takes up way too much space in the dishwasher because you have to open it all up to make sure all compartments get cleaned.
The Bottom Line
With multi-level compartments, leak-resistant rubber gaskets, and stand-alone handle, the New Generation Lunchbox from Bright Bin is unique from the other bento-style lunch containers I've tried. It's an easy way to reduce waste, save money and save the earth!
Save 20% off The New Generation Lunch Box
Get 20% off The New Generation Lunch Boxes through December 31 when you purchase from BrightBin.com and use the code bonggamom11
Disclosure:I received a product sample, but was not paid to review the product or give my opinions. Product information is provided by Bright Bin, and is clearly indicated as such. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.