Find It, Fix It ECOlunchbox Tips
How can I use my ECOlunchbox for as long as possible?
We don’t believe in "planned obsolescence." ECOlunchboxes are designed for the long haul! Made with high-quality, sturdy stainless steel and durable silicone lids, we work hard to make products that will last for years and years.
Planning for long and repeated use is kind of like swimming upstream in this culture of “planned obsolescence,” which means a product has been deliberately designed to wear out or break and require replacing. Most consumer products companies want their customers to replace their items and buy again and again, so they make more money!
We've put together a few Find It, Fix It tips to make sure your lunchbox makes its way back to you should it ever get lost. And read on to learn more about how to keep it tuned up by following a few simple fix-it and care suggestions!
Don't Lose It Tips!
1. Add labels in case you lose your ECOlunchbox
When it comes to picking a label that's dishwasher safe and non-toxic, it's virtually impossible to find anything that's plastic-free and eco-friendly.
A quick search online for labels will net a bevy of results, but 99% of the labels sold are made from vinyl, a type of PVC typically containing bisphenol A and other toxins. While all plastics pose serious threats to human health and the environment, few consumers realize that PVC is the single most environmentally damaging of all plastics, according to Greenpeace.
Despite the lack of plastic-free label options, we still have some great eco-friendly labeling tips.
Iron-on cloth labels are a great way to go when it comes to labeling our Blue Water Bento cotton lunch bags. They're waterproof and free of vinyl and BPA, according to label expert Maureen McCartney, who is the owner of Emily Press. "The iron-on labels are a great option for families seeking to avoid plastic," McCartney explains. "When it comes to dishwasher safe labels for the metal lunch boxes, however, you're pretty much stuck with vinyl labels. Nothing else is available."
So it's a personal choice for ECOlunchbox users to decide if they want to label their steel lunch containers and use vinyl -- or use a less-permanent solution that's non-toxic, like writing on the steel with a wax pencil or chalk marker.
2. Write your name with a wax marker!
Wax pencils, which are also known as grease or china markers, have been used for more than 100 years. It's an old-fashioned and 100% plastic-free labeling solution that works great on stainless steel. The waxy marker is waterproof but, with some scrubbing, can be rubbed off, making it a great way to add a name to a stainless steel lunchbox. It's similar to a crayon, but the waxy substance is stickier and will adhere to the polished metal much better. Check your local office supply store to find wax markers in blue, red, green, black, and other colors.
Liquid chalk markers work great on stainless steel as well and are available in a wide variety of colors. Look for a product labeled "non-toxic and food safe." Like the wax marker, labeling with a chalk marker is not permanent. The chalk can be washed off using a cloth wet with hot water and soap. The casing of the chalk marker is plastic, so when the liquid runs out, you'll have to trash the pen, so keep this in mind as a downside.
3. Keep stuff together in a lunch bag!
It seems simple, but sticking all of your lunch in one place is a no-nonsense way of making sure it gets back home from school or the office. We have organic cotton Blue Water Bento lunch bags with marine life designs sold separately and in discounted lunch sets for toting lunch containers.
Don't forget to add an iron-on label! We recommend putting the label on the back or the bottom of the lunch bag so the whale, sea horse, dolphin, or other design gets top billing on the front.
4. Quick Fixes for your ECOlunchbox
Keep a lid on it!
ECOlunchbox offers replacement lids for many of our Blue Water Bento lunch containers. If your lid goes missing, you can order a new one from our Lids & Parts online store.
Clean it right!
Stainless steel is a material that is used extensively in the kitchen due to its general resiliency to things like heat and corrosion. While stainless steel is highly resistant to corrosion and rust, it's not completely impervious. For example, washing your ECOlunchbox with harsh chemicals like bleach or acids can make it rust. So you can not clean it enough!
Regular gentle cleaning is required to preserve the appearance and integrity of its surface. In fact, we explain in our washing Instructions FAQ that stainless steel actually thrives with frequent cleaning, and, unlike some other materials, it is impossible to wear it out.
Beware: If our lunchboxes are treated with harsh chemicals, like bleach and acids, or constantly coated with grease or dirt and not regularly cleaned, the stainless steel is more vulnerable to corrosion and wear.
Keep clips tightened up!
Your clips may loosen over time and use, but there's an easy fix to get them perfectly snug. Adults tend to like the clips snug, but children prefer a loser closure. Either way, just follow these tips to keep your ECOlunchbox Three-in-Ones and Tri Bentos functioning to your liking for years and years.