Many of us have been enjoying beautiful sunny days lately and with the school summer holidays now well underway, it really is the season for days out and picnics! If, like me though, you hate all the waste that comes with wrapping a whole family's sandwiches, snacks and goodies for a day out, there are some fantastic solutions available. They're safer, more environmentally-responsible and, in the long term, cheaper too than the throwaway materials we might typically use.
Public awareness is certainly growing regarding highly undesirable substances such as BPA, PVC and phthalates, to name a few, being commonly used in food coverings and food storage containers. These are capable of leaching toxic and harmful chemicals into our food and parents in particular are increasingly looking for non-toxic alternatives for their children's lunchboxes and picnics.
It's really quite a minefield though, trying to establish what does and what doesn't contain any of the wide range of nasties, but the founders of My Friendly Lunchbox and Ecoboodles, have eliminated all the guesswork for you. We love both of these companies, which only sell non-toxic products which are free of BPA, PVC, phthalates and lead. We found My Friendly Lunchbox first and have found many other uses for their non-toxic, easily washable and recycled sandwich wrappers which are also very handy for covering bowls of food or for wrapping leftovers before putting them in the fridge (we find that elastic bands work a treat in keeping the circular wraps in place over bowls of food). They have a good range of plastic and cloth sandwich wrappers and even some matching non-toxic ice packs, in addition to many other eco-friendly goodies, such as BPA-free food storage containers and shaped sandwich or biscuit cutters.
More recently, we were absolutely delighted to stumble upon the wonderful Ecoboodle organic cotton sandwich wrappers. These really are fabulous for wrapping your sandwiches and your children will probably feel as though they're opening a little present when they open your picnic sandwiches! These wraps are soft and pliable and are capable of holding several small rolls each, with a food-grade non-toxic lining to keep messy sandwich fillings from leaking or staining the outer certified organic cotton fabric. They're extremely easy to wash by hand but they can also go in the washing machine, up to 30°C - although they're not suitable for the tumble dryer because of the lining. We never seem to have enough of these in our house, so do think about buying several at a time to get the multi-buy discounts which represent amazing value for money. As far as we know, these are the only organic cotton sandwich wraps available in the UK and they're perfectly shaped to make the neatest, non-bulky, picnic parcels!
Our youngest children are usually really hungry when they come out of school/nursery and on the days that our eldest needs picking up from school too, there's at least a half hour wait for her school day to end. The little ones can't wait that long for something to eat if they're hungry, so the sandwich wrappers are great for quickly and conveniently transporting some healthy snacks in the car and they act as a mat too, saving the car's upholstery from at least some of the crumbs!
I've focused here mainly on these websites' sandwich wrappers because I'm such a huge fan of these, but My Friendly Lunchbox and Ecoboodles non-leaching ranges include stainless steel water bottles, attractive lunchbags, lunchbag sets and more! The earlier you switch to these non-toxic and waste-free lunchbox products, the sooner they'll pay for themselves and, more importantly, your family won't be paying the price of toxic chemicals silently contaminating their food.