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Back to School: Mother/Son Review of Citizenpip Lunch Kits

Posted By Jennifer Chait On August 26, 2009 @ 8:00 am In baby feeding,gear for parents | No Comments

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My son Cedar is the pickiest child alive… so when his school lunch box went by the wayside this summer, a feeling of dread grew inside of me knowing we’d have to find a new one. I picked out a bunch of eco-friendly lunch boxes [3], only to have Cedar snub them all [4]. Lately, he’s been using a bamboo lunch sack [4] for camp, and while it is eco-friendly, it’s also inappropriate for long-term use because it has no insulation. Then I heard about a new waste-free-lunch system – the Soup to Nuts Kit [5] from Citizenpip [6]. The Soup to Nuts kit [5] is an all inclusive, reusable, waste-free lunch kit that puts a stylish end to disposable lunch trash woes. Read on to learn what earth-loving Cedar and I thought of Citizenpip’s reusable lunch kits.

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What’s included in the Soup to Nuts Kit [5]:

The Citizenpip Soup to Nuts kit [5] comes with an insulated lunch bag with a nametag and carabiner, so kids may easily attach their kit to their backpack. Also included are: an 18.5 oz stainless steel water bottle, a stainless steel insulated food jar, four BPA-free airtight food containers, one stainless steel fork + spoon set, and five 100% cloth cotton napkins. The lunch bag itself is currently available in three design styles – Yum, Eat, and Tasty [21]. I prefer the ‘Tasty’ bag shown above (adorable!)… but knowing Cedar’s taste, I opted for the less flashy ‘Eat’ bag instead.

Eco-friendly aspects of the Soup to Nuts Kit [5]:

  • Cuts out lunch disposables entirely. Good news since Waste-free lunches [22] notes that the average school-age child generates 67 pounds of waste per school year if he/she eats a disposable lunch. That’s 18,760 pounds of lunch waste created each year at just one average-sized elementary school.
  • There is no lead, BPA, PVC, or phthalates in any of the Soup to Nuts Kit [5]‘s components. Products are lab tested and exceed FDA and CPSIA standards.
  • The insulated lunch bag is made of non-woven polypropylene with aluminum. Polyethylene is a plastic fabric, but is a somewhat greener choice for bags — being that you can (in most cases) find a recycling center [23] for it.
  • The water bottle and insulated food jar are made of 304 food grade single wall stainless steel with polypropylene cap and silicone [24] gasket – all are completely non-toxic.
  • The fork and spoon are made with 18/0 food grade stainless steel with high impact polystyrene plastic handles and this type of polystyrene is recyclable [25].
  • The company gives money back to your school through their school program; meaning that when you use a special code at the website shop, Citizenpip will give a percentage of all sales attributed to this promotion code back to your school. To get more information and/or sign up for the Citizenpip@school program, email the company at schools@citizenpip.com [26].

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What we loved:

  • This is the ONLY lunch kit you need to pack an entirely waste-free lunch. There’s plenty of room within the bag and containers for an entire lunch and some snacks.
  • Even when I packed the lunch bag full with all four food containers, the insulated food jar, and silverware, I could still fit a small icepack inside. Plus, the bag is insulated to begin with. Cedar’s cold food stayed chilly and the insulated container kept his warm food warm.
  • The bag looked small but fit a lot as noted above. Depending on what I packed, there was still room for some extra treats tucked in our reusable snack baggies [27].
  • The napkins are a great size. Good for use as a napkin or as an impromptu placemat.
  • The containers held food in without the lids coming off, and the insulated container and water bottle didn’t leak. Trust me, I bounced them around a lot for good measure.
  • Cedar said he’d use it! Overall he liked the design, with some minor issues (see below in cons).

What we didn’t love:

  • Cedar did like the design, but not excessively. Citizenpip makes some really cute bags (I LOVE them) but none are stereotypically boy-friendly. Cedar is a total boy – dirt, cars, rocks and so on, thus pastels or bright colors are not his first choice. I talked to Citizenpip owner Christina about this and she told me, “I know what you mean – I have 3 boys – and they’re all definitely dudes. The younger two like the current designs – but my oldest uses the BYOB kit [28]. Next round, I plan on doing older/edgier (and more boyish) designs – but we wanted to start with something that could appeal to both genders (which is harder as the kids get older).
  • The cloth napkins aren’t organic cotton. Cedar, who is big on organics, even asked if they were, and I had to say no. It’d be an easy switch to substitute with non-chemical organic cotton.
  • The water bottle is too small for an older kid. Cedar has a 27 oz Klean Kanteen [29] and he always drinks all the water in it before the school day is over. You can easily send an extra BPA free reusable water bottle [30] to school though.
  • It’s noted that the lunch bag and fork + spoon set are made in Taiwan, and all other products are made in China, but there’s no disclaimer about work conditions on the Citizenpip [6] website (i.e. is it Fair Trade, ethical, etc.).

Overall Review:

Cedar was excited to show his friends his new Citizenpip lunch kit [5], which I took as a thumbs-up Cedar recommendation. In spite of the minor flaws noted above, I really like this lunch kit. I love the safety aspects (muck free) and am thrilled that Cedar will actually carry it because now my lunch box worries are over. Plus, this lunch kit is a huge value. No buying foil or plastic baggies which are an ongoing cost to you and the environment. I would absolutely recommend the Soup to Nuts Ki [5]t as a smart, waste-free lunch packing choice. NOTE: for easy packing of daily lunches, buy an extra set of the BPA free food containers [31] so you don’t have to rewash them daily.

+ Soup to Nuts Kit $55 [5]

+ Extra set of BPA free food containers $12 [31]

+ Citizenpip [6]

via Petite Planet [32]


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[1] Tweet: http://twitter.com/share

[2] Email: mailto:?subject=http://www.inhabitots.com/citizenpip-waste-free-lunch-soup-to-nuts-kit/

[3] eco-friendly lunch boxes: http://www.treehuggingfamily.com/which-green-lunch-set-is-best-lunch-according-to-cedar/

[4] snub them all: http://www.treehuggingfamily.com/cedars-lunch-box-choice-not-what-i-thought/

[5] Soup to Nuts Kit: http://www.citizenpip.com/soup.html

[6] Citizenpip: http://www.citizenpip.com/

[7] Image: http://www.inhabitots.com/citizenpip-waste-free-lunch-soup-to-nuts-kit/3bags1_415/

[8] Image: http://www.inhabitots.com/citizenpip-waste-free-lunch-soup-to-nuts-kit/ciplk7/

[9] Image: http://www.inhabitots.com/citizenpip-waste-free-lunch-soup-to-nuts-kit/napkins1_415/

[10] Image: http://www.inhabitots.com/citizenpip-waste-free-lunch-soup-to-nuts-kit/containers3_415/

[11] Image: http://www.inhabitots.com/citizenpip-waste-free-lunch-soup-to-nuts-kit/ciplk5/

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[14] Image: http://www.inhabitots.com/citizenpip-waste-free-lunch-soup-to-nuts-kit/containers1_415/

[15] Image: http://www.inhabitots.com/citizenpip-waste-free-lunch-soup-to-nuts-kit/soup2nuts3_415/

[16] Image: http://www.inhabitots.com/citizenpip-waste-free-lunch-soup-to-nuts-kit/byob1_415/

[17] Image: http://www.inhabitots.com/citizenpip-waste-free-lunch-soup-to-nuts-kit/cplk/

[18] Image: http://www.inhabitots.com/citizenpip-waste-free-lunch-soup-to-nuts-kit/cplk2/

[19] Image: http://www.inhabitots.com/citizenpip-waste-free-lunch-soup-to-nuts-kit/soup2nuts_415/

[20] Image: http://www.inhabitots.com/citizenpip-waste-free-lunch-soup-to-nuts-kit/soup2nuts2_415/

[21] Yum, Eat, and Tasty: http://www.citizenpip.com/lunchbag.html

[22] Waste-free lunches: http://www.wastefreelunches.org/

[23] find a recycling center: http://earth911.com/blog/2009/02/03/plastic-5-recycling-got-you-feeling-blue/

[24] silicone: http://www.blisstree.com/bakingdelights/silicone-baking-pans-safe-or-not/

[25] polystyrene is recyclable: http://earth911.com/plastic/number-6-plastic-polystyrene/

[26] schools@citizenpip.com: mailto:schools@citizenpip.com

[27] reusable snack baggies: http://www.inhabitots.com/2009/02/07/reusable-snack-bags-for-your-little-snack-monster/

[28] BYOB kit: http://www.citizenpip.com/byob.html

[29] Klean Kanteen: http://www.kleankanteen.com/

[30] BPA free reusable water bottle: http://www.inhabitots.com/2009/08/25/top-five-100-bpa-free-reusable-water-bottles-for-kids/

[31] BPA free food containers: http://www.citizenpip.com/containers.html

[32] Petite Planet: http://petiteplanet.blogspot.com/2009/08/citizenpip-reusable-lunch-kits-for.html

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