It's that time of year again. The kids are heading back to school, summer routines will give way to fall and those of us who had a break for a few months start packing lunches again.
In this post, I'll cover our most frequently asked questions about using reusable snack bags to get started with litterless lunches.
How many do I need?
I recommend starting with two sets (2 large, and 4 small or wide), this will give you a little flexibility in when you clean them. You can add to your collection over time based on your needs.
How do I wash them?
Caring for our reusable snack bags is so easy! You have a few options, if they just have some crumbs you can flip them inside out and give them a quick wipe with a dish cloth. If your bags got messy (jam that oozed outside of the bread) you can wash them in the sink and hang to dry or just toss them in the washing machine and drier! We officially recommend cold water and low dry to preserve the fabric colours. Off the record, I will confess that I often wash on warm and medium and my bags have lasted for years. **Do NOT put them in the dishwasher as the extreme heat and detergent will cause them to wear out quickly.
How do I keep them organized in my kitchen?
There are no rules for how you store your snack bags, so get creative! I keep mine in a basket that fits in a large kitchen drawer. If you don't already have one, I definitely recommend picking up one of regular wet bags. It has two straps so I like to hang it on my oven door and leave the zipper open. All of our 'kitchen laundry' goes in there - messy snack bags, dish cloths, tea towels etc. When the bag is full just unsnap it and throw everything in the washing machine. It will change your life!
Are they food safe?
Yes! We get all components of our bags tested by an independent laboratory to ensure they meet all food safety requirements of both Health Canada and the FDA. Our zippers are lead and nickel free and also tested to meet CPSIA non-choking standards. You can be confident that your bags are safe for you and your family.
Will my kids lose them?
Honestly? Maybe. Kids are great, but sometimes they lose stuff. Here are some things you can do to help:
Let your kids choose their prints (or choose prints they will love, even if they aren't your favourite). This can help the kids be excited to use them - and bring them home.
Have your kids bring home everything from their lunch each day. Many schools have 'boomerang' lunch programs where all leftovers and garbage are sent home. This also lets you see what is and isn't being eaten.
LABEL them!!! (the snack bags, not the kids) This is huge, especially if your school is running our fundraiser program. Commercial labels such as Mabel's or Oliver's work well - depending on the print you can also use a sharpie or fabric marker. This way you can identify yours if they end up in the lost and found.
That about sums it up! If you're looking for more tips, please join our Facebook Group - Colibri Community Chat. We have almost 700 members who love to share tips about using Colibri products to minimize waste.