Take the Zero-Waste Lunch Pledge with Om Goods' Stainless Steel Food Containers

03/01/2009 at 06:00 PM ET

Om Goods, seller of stainless-steel, leach-free food containers called Tiffins, wants you live a zero-waste lunch lifestyle.

By carrying your own lunch, utensils, cloth napkins, water container and/or reusable lunch containers (like their Tiffins), you can minimize your carbon footprint (foodprint, if you will!) and help the environment one meal at a time.

For most kids, a 2-tier tiffin carrier ($12) is perfect. Put the main event (like a sandwich or leftovers) in one compartment and sliced veggies or fruit in the other and use the lid as a plate. Still hungry? The 3-tier ($15) or 4-tier ($20) tiffin carriers are for you. You can further divide the compartments using the 3-piece nested containers ($30 $20) or using to hold snacks. We’ve been using the 2-tier carrier for Anya. The bottom compartment is just big enough to hold a bagel and I fill the top with strawberries, sliced apples or oranges.

They also sell cool stainless steel children’s dinner sets ($15 $10) which includes an 8.5 oz cup, 4″ bowl and 7″ plate. They’re a great alternative to plastic and ceramic because they’re unbreakable, lightweight and don’t leech chemicals. (Unfortunately, you can’t put them in the microwave, but you shouldn’t be putting plastic in there either.)

Zero-waste lunches are also healthy, less expensive lunches. If you make your own lunches, you know exactly what you or your family will be eating as you control the portions and ingredients. Additionally, you save money by not purchasing individually packaged items which are, as a rule, priced higher per unit and when you use reusable containers instead of disposable ones like plastic wrap, bags and aluminum foil, you save on the packaging. If you are not able to prepare your own lunch, an alternative is to bring your own reusable container. (If this sounds crazy, think about people who bring travel mugs to their favorite coffee places. It’s not so different!)

They also have a Facebook fan page and encourage people to post images of their zero-waste lunches. Check out these photos of zero-waste lunches that people have shared- #2 and #6 are mine.

– Danielle

CBB Deal: Save 10% on your order with coupon code CELEBRITY.

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Nirupa on

This made me smile. I am from India and we used to carry tiffin boxes with our lunch packed because we did not have disposable containers then. Did not do it for the carbon footprint or anything. It is a great thing to have. But it is ironic that in India plastic containers are becoming the choice of people carrying lunch. Why ? Because these tiffin boxes cannot be microwaved. It is a myth that these keep food hot for hours unless they are placed in something called hot cases. Still packing lunch is great and packing home cooked food is even better.
One thing though, these tiffin boxes seem to be on the more expensive side. Way expensive actually. If you live in or near New York, New Jersery, Chicago, WAshington DC, VA, MD, Raleigh NC, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Deigo, San Franciso or anywhere where there are Indian shops, I would recommend trying there. It is definitely cheaper and there will be more variety. Some are even available in some dollar stores run by Indians.

Jh west on

If they came in sandwich-size, I’d love them! I use a plastic version right now and they only last about two months with the abuse my kids dish out at school.

Marisa on

Does anyone know…do these seal well enough to carry things like soup and yogurt? I would like to get these, but not if I have to still carry plastic/sealable containers as well…

—-

They don’t hold liquids but they probably hold thicker things like soup and yogurt.

— Danielle

UggaMugga.com on

I’m not sure if these can hold liquids, but I know from experience that To-Go Ware can: http://uggamugga.blogspot.com/2009/01/to-go-ware.html.

Heidi on

Hmm… interesting idea, but to follow up on the point of Nirupa (comment #1), I think dealing with to-be-eaten hot leftovers would be challenging. Even if these containers DID keep things hot, which apparently they don’t, am I really going to heat up my chili, for example, in a bowl at home in the morning and transfer it to the lunch box? No. Too much work! And I’m certainly not going to carry the chili to work in a stainless steel container and then have to transfer it to something else to heat it up.

So ok… maybe for a sandwich. But again, I fail to see the benefit. If in fact plastic does leach (which has not been proven), it would be most likely to occur upon heating. I wouldn’t heat my sandwich, so it wouldn’t even be an issue — and I re-use my plastic container umpteen times and then some.

Nope… not convinced!!

——-

No food container is perfect. I think the tiffin’s strength lies in cold or room temperature food. It’s great for fruit, sandwiches, cheese and crackers, etc.

— Danielle

Alena on

I use two-tier Japanese Bento boxes. They’re a perfect size for a child’s lunch and they come in all kinds of colors and designs.

Jenne on

I have one of these. One thing they can be good for is that if you have a local, organic, sustainable eatery, it might be possible for them to keep your tiffin, then fill it at lunchtime with a lunch you order and then come to pick up (vaguely similar to the Indian lunch schemes.) We have a place that will do this. If I remember, I also take my tiffin when eating out so I can put the inevitable leftovers inside to carry home.

Nirupa on

Marisa,

To answer your question if these tiffins carry soup or yogurt, they do, provided the lid and the container of the tiffin box are not dented and close snugly. I used to carry something called curd rice (plain yogurt and rice) to school for years as a liitle kid. To prevent the yogurt from becoming too sour, my mom would pack plain cooked white rice, boiled pasturized milk at room temperature covering the rice completely and a liitle yogurt culture (from last night’s home made yogurt) in the tiffin box. By the time we were ready for lunch, the milk would have turned to yogurt and I just had to mix it well. The tiffin box endured the bumps and the potholes of the Indian roads and never spilled a thing. Indians also eat rice mixed with curries which are like stews, but are thinner called Sambhar, Rasam etc. Rice tends to absorb it and most mothers filled our tiffins with rice and poured a generous helping of curries. Never once did I have a ‘lunch’ accident.

Jh West
There should be flat Stainless steel containers without the “carrier” which look like the three piece nested containers, except you should be able to get them without the nested containers. Or you could get the nested ones and use the biggest one as sandwich containers. Just an idea.

OM Goods on

Thanks for the review Danielle & CBB!

Nirupa and others. I am from India and I remember using a tiffin for my lunches as a kid. When I had children I needed a convenient way to carry snacks to the park so I started using my tiffins and dabbas. Lots of people loved the look and started asking to buy them off of me. Hence why I started OM Goods. I am just an ecoist Indian mom trying to help save our environment one meal at a time.

If you check out om-goods.blogspot.com you can see the different pictures of lunches and snacks that I have done. None of them require heating. For example, have you ever packed pita bread and hummus for lunch with some fruit? Healthy and delicious!

Thank you Nirupa for all your insight in helping answer these questions.

I love using one of the nested food containers (puri dabba) for lunches as well. I’ve used daals(lentils) and rice in the tiffins and containers with no problem, except the re-heating of them, they can be safely used in the toster over just be careful, it’s hot!. My favorite is curd rice (yogurt rice) too! Tiffins and Dabbas have been around in India for generations. You should read up on the Dabbawalas in India: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dabbawala

Next month OM Goods will be coming out with Tiffin Cozies that have a pocket for a water bottle, cloth napkin and utensils.

Namaste!

eternalcanadian on

I’m with Alena–Bento boxes are fabulous!

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