PlanetBox Review and Giveaway

>> Thursday, March 11, 2010

There are still a couple more weeks until the waste-free lunch challenge, but here's your chance to get a head start with a fabulous new lunchbox.

PLANETBOX REVIEW

When First Son started kindergarten this year, I thought about getting him his very own lunchbox as a "congratulations on being a big kid" gift, and of all the eco-friendly lunchboxes I discovered in my search for the perfect lunchbox, the PlanetBox was the one I drooled over the most. We ended up getting him a school sweatshirt instead of a lunchbox, so when the PlanetBox arrived in my mail for this review, it was the first time I'd seen it in person. And it only made me want it more!


Here are the things I love about this lunchbox:
  • It's made of stainless steel - not plastic.
  • It's all one piece - not a bunch of containers and lids that your child has to keep track of.
  • The food compartments are designed cafeteria-tray style, which is what we use at home. First Son has issues with food touching.
  • It's long-lasting and recyclable at the end of it's life.
  • It's dishwasher safe.
The PlanetBox also comes with cute magnets so your child can customize his lunchbox or freshen it up when he grows tired of the old ones. For more variety with your child's lunches, you can purchase the Big and Little Dippers - small containers to hold sauces, dips, and yogurt. And you can choose between a red, green, or purple lead-free carrying case with an inside pouch to hold a cold pack and an outside pouch to hold a beverage.

Packaging
  • The PlanetBox arrived at my door via USPS in a cardboard box with paper packaging. USPS is my preferred carrier because they come to my door anyway (and my postman comes on foot!), unlike other carriers that have to make a special trip.
Materials
  • The PlanetBox lunchbox is made of high quality stainless steel, which is safe for food and completely recyclable. The magnets are made out of a synthetic rubber (not PVC). The carry bags are made of recycled plastic and contain no "lead, vinyl/PVC, Phthalates, Bisphenol-A(BPA) or other harmful or toxic substances."
Manufacturing
  • Planet Box has this to say about their manufacturing:
Our stainless steel lunch boxes are made in Taiwan, and our magnets and bags are made in China. When we started our company, we did an extensive search domestically in the USA for suppliers who could manufacture our product. We were unable to locate manufacturing partners within the USA who could meet our needs. The one domestic manufacturer that we found who was willing to partner with us would have charged us a rate that meant we would have to sell the PlanetBox for $300 a piece! We share many of our customer’s concerns about working conditions abroad, and we work to make sure that the suppliers we choose to partner with provide ethical treatment to their employees and the environment.
(Simple Shoes says the same type of thing about why they manufacture their shoes overseas. I think it's really unfortunate, but I also don't want to pay $300 for a child's lunchbox! It's a tough, tough situation.)

Quality
  • Stainless steel is a long-lasting, durable material, and the lunchbox seems well-constructed. Each stainless steel lunchbox carries a five-year warranty covering defects in material or workmanship, and the carry bags have a one-year warranty.
Affordability
  • Unfortunately, the PlanetBox is not only the best eco-friendly lunchbox I've seen, it's also the most expensive ($35 for the lunchbox, $50 for the lunchbox and dippers, $60 for the whole package). However, the PlanetBox should last your child many, many years, and when you compare the cost of this lunchbox to the cost of purchasing disposable baggies and lunchbags, or the cost of purchasing a new vinyl lunchbag every year, you'll still come out far ahead.
Availability
Visit PlanetBox for more information and to purchase your own stainless steel lunchbox!

GIVEAWAY


PlanetBox is generously offering one of their lunchboxes for one reader of The Conscious Shopper. (Note that this giveaway is only for a lunchbox - dippers and carrying case are not included.) Because PlanetBox is a very small company, they told me I could have my choice between a lunchbox to keep or a lunchbox to give away. You lucky readers, you...Here's how you can win a PlanetBox for your favorite child:
  • Leave a comment on this post stating your favorite waste-free lunch idea.
  • You can earn up to two extra entries by sharing this post on Facebook or tweeting it on Twitter and then leaving a comment for each thing that you do. This is completely based on the honor system, and remember that each comment is a separate entry.
You have until next Wednesday, March 17th to enter. I'll randomly select a winner and announce the results next Thursday. Good luck!

The winner of the PlanetBox giveaway is ME!, who wrote:
I am an elementary teacher and just today I have been creating ways for each grade level at our school to work on saving Earth! I want my class work on school lunches...how to bring reuseable containers and to work on not wasting food. Wouldn't it be great to have one of these lunch boxes as a giveaway!!!!! And I too came here from Big Green Purse!
I think it's pretty cool that the prize for this giveaway will be used in another giveaway. Hopefully it will help spread the word even more about this great lunchbox.

Thanks to everyone who entered. If you didn't win, you can purchase your own stainless steel lunchbox by visiting PlanetBox.

UPDATE: In response to a couple comments, I wrote:
Maren has a very good question. It's a bit heavier than a typical lunchbox, but it's definitely not heavy. Their website says, "It weighs 19 oz – less than most Harry Potter books!" :) I think it could be heavy for a preschooler but it would be fine for a kid in elementary school or older.

My other big concern for a kid's lunchbox was whether or not my child could open it without adult help. I like the Goodbyn (www.goodbyn.com), but I read some reviews saying it's difficult for a young kid to open. The PlanetBox is very easy to open with a little latch.
____________________

You have hereby been challenged to go green in a year without going broke! Check out the last challenge, or view the whole list of Challengicious Mondays. Sign up for my RSS feed, follow me on Twitter, and join my "Go Green without Going Broke" group on Facebook!
  • Disclosure: PlanetBox did not compensate me in any way for this review. Most of the information in this review comes from their website, but the opinions are entirely my own.
  • Images courtesy of PlanetBox

27 comments:

Elle Bee March 11, 2010 at 12:45 AM  

This lunch box is fantastic!! My daughter would be the coolest kid in the cafeteria! My favorite waste-free lunch idea: we never purchase foods packaged in single serving containers. For instance, instead of buying individual servings of applesauce, we buy organic applesauce in large jars and portion it out into small reusable containers. Same with pretzels and trail mix. Thanks for doing a giveaway! I'm excited to find your blog--I came from Big Green Purse. :o)

Eco Yogini March 11, 2010 at 1:39 AM  

I also was very excited about this lunchbox, and recommended it to a local environmental store. I had no idea it was only available through their website though.

Since I don't have children I don't think it would be fair to enter in the giveaway- it would be way more fun for another child to be 'the coolest kid in the cafeteria' :) but I wanted to just leave a little comment supporting the company :)

Caron March 11, 2010 at 8:27 AM  

This is the lunch box of my dreams!!! I have emailed laptop lunches, lunchbots, etc. encouraging them to make a stainless steel bento like this! I have never seen this one before, so thanks so much for posting about it. To reduce waste, my rule is, if it comes in plastic, I find a way to make it myself. So far I have found good recipes for yogurt, bagels, tortillas, bread. I am going to try animal crackers this week!
Thanks for this awesome givaway! Love you blog!

Maren Hansen March 11, 2010 at 9:37 AM  

Oh, Erin, those are the best! I've been looking for a substitute for all the little containers (and occasional Ziplocs) for their lunches for a long, long time. This is simply perfect! One questions: is it heavy? Do you know how it compares in weight to a standard fabric lunchbox (you know, like those padded fabric ones you see all the kids with these days)? Here's my tip--we bought these really cool spill-less Contigo cups from Costco for the kids for water. I hate all the plastic water bottles and the really good ones where metal and too heavy. These cups are BPA-free and don't have tons of little pieces, but also don't spill all over the rest of their lunch. See this link (Amazon): http://www.amazon.com/Contigo-Autoseal-PBA-free-Purple-Green/dp/B002ODGWQ2/ref=pd_sim_k_1.

bashtree March 11, 2010 at 10:24 AM  

I've been wanting one of these for ages now. Nobody has taken the hint!

To have waste-free lunches, I will buy in bulk and then pour the day's serving in a smaller glass container or jar. It works!

thirsty March 11, 2010 at 12:53 PM  

my favorite waste-free lunch idea: to reuse/repurpose absolutely anything in the kitchen for the lunch box foods. some examples: the old bread bag houses the sandwich; a rinsed vitamin container carries some pretzels; the greek yogurt tub has the grapes; and on and on. sometimes i cover up the logos with stickers or notes from home. other times, the packages just look like "trash." my daughter gets some laughs at the lunch table, but it feels good to re-use.

Erin aka Conscious Shopper March 11, 2010 at 1:55 PM  

Maren has a very good question. It's a bit heavier than a typical lunchbox, but it's definitely not heavy. Their website says, "It weighs 19 oz – less than most Harry Potter books!" :) I think it could be heavy for a preschooler but it would be fine for a kid in elementary school or older.

My other big concern for a kid's lunchbox was whether or not my child could open it without adult help. I like the Goodbyn (www.goodbyn.com), but I read some reviews saying it's difficult for a young kid to open. The PlanetBox is very easy to open with a little latch.

Also, this lunchbox is definitely marketed for children because they're the demographic most likely to use a lunchbox. But adults can use lunchboxes too! If you like this lunchbox but don't have kids, don't let that stop you from entering the giveaway!

Leigh March 11, 2010 at 7:20 PM  

Waste-free lunch: always leftovers. Even if that means some brown rice with soy sauce. But always fruit, too, because most of what we eat, apples, oranges, come in their own biodegradable carry cases. And we recently got Patrick a glass container because he microwaves his. I just eat mine room temp. And the lunchbox. I think it looks awesome, but Seamus is a long way from kindergarten.

Kelly March 12, 2010 at 12:47 AM  

Great lunch box! My kids would love it! My favorite waste-free lunch idea is to use a re-usable thermos instead of juice boxes.

ME! March 12, 2010 at 9:18 PM  

I am an elementary teacher and just today I have been creating ways for each grade level at our school to work on saving Earth! I want my class work on school lunches...how to bring reuseable containers and to work on not wasting food. Wouldn't it be great to have one of these lunch boxes as a giveaway!!!!! And I too came here from Big Green Purse!

And I will be back for more!

sora_ke March 13, 2010 at 10:36 AM  

Well, we are still in the baby steps phase of making our lunches waste-free. We don't buy foods in single serve containers (cause it costs so much) and I try to make whatever the snack/dessert is that they have in their lunch, cookies, pudding (put in re-usable containers). Although they are plastic, we re-use plastic utensils. I didn't want to girls accidentally throwing away or loosing our real spoons and forks so I send plastic forks and spoons with them then wash and re-use them. Also, at the beginning of the school year I bought Minute-Maid Apple Juice in plastic bottles with lids. We are still using the same six bottles--we clean them and fill them up with other juice or water for lunches everyday. It is not the best solution, but it works until we can afford metal bottles for each of them.

zee March 15, 2010 at 4:48 AM  

Yay for eco-friendly lunches! This lunchbox looks great! Eco-friendly lunches happens to be one of the topics in our 31-day blog series (Day 24 of 31 Days to a greener and healthier life)! Lunchboxes like these make us want to prepare healthier, yummier lunches for ourselves and our family. :)

Caron March 17, 2010 at 8:29 AM  

I posted this nice giveawy on facebook. I am sure that some of my friends would love the chance to win this great lunch box! Thanks again!

Caron March 17, 2010 at 8:38 AM  

Twittered it, too. Everyone should know about this lunchbox! Thanks again for posting about it!

Petit Mouton on Etsy March 17, 2010 at 9:18 PM  

I love that this box is stainless steel! Because I hate having a ton of little containers, I tend to use plastic bags otherwise. This makes this item waste-free to me!

Elena April 6, 2010 at 9:36 AM  

I bought this lunch box about a month ago for my preschooler. At first I balked at the price. I think it was about 70 bucks when you buy the whole kit and factor in shipping. Once it arrived, it took all of about five minutes to get over it. It's now clear that this lunch box was worth the cost. First of all, it's very well made. Second, it eliminates the waste we were creating with packed lunches, i.e. ziplock bags, individually wrapped foods, tupperware, etc. Best of all, our son is eating almost everything we put in it, and I think this is because he can see everything unlike the tupperware containers with covers.
It is probably a bit heavier than plastic lunch boxes, but it's quite thin, so for us it works out. I think this is one of the best purchases we've made for our son, both on a practical level as well as environmentally.

Anonymous,  May 1, 2010 at 4:54 PM  

I am considering buying one of the Planetbox lunch boxes. I am wondering, though, if they leak at all. Any comments? Thanks, Fran

Erin aka Conscious Shopper May 1, 2010 at 5:25 PM  

@Fran - The PlanetBox's are not meant to hold liquids and will leak if you put a liquid in them, including runny foods like applesauce, yogurt, and dip. For those, you would need to buy a Big or Little Dipper.

Susan July 7, 2011 at 6:40 PM  

The only thing holding me back from buying a planetbox is that I am worried about the freshness of food, such as bread, if it is not air tight. Can anyone share their experience with this?

Viagra on line pharmacy July 22, 2011 at 10:05 AM  

this is the perfect way to start a diet, some of my friends said "well is good, if you are a obsessive-compulsive" jajajaja, but anyway is a cool way to organize your food.

pharmacy August 24, 2011 at 11:11 AM  

Indeed that lunch box is awesome, looks comfortable and the food looks also more eatable because of the presentation

pharmacy September 2, 2011 at 1:05 PM  

Well, we are still in the baby steps phase of making our lunches waste-free. We don't buy foods boxes, but it's quite thin, so for us it works out. I think this is one of the best purchases we've made for our son, both on a practical level as well as environmentally.

pharmacy September 7, 2011 at 1:29 PM  

This is the perfect lunchbox for my child because I can see I can organize very well his lunch, that's perfect because he use to go running to the school and it is also a,problem, now with this lunchbox my child won't find his food totally mixed.

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I do not accept money for writing reviews, but I do accept products for review and to giveaway. When posting a review, I fully disclose any free samples received from the company. I include information provided by the company in my reviews, but all opinions about the product are my own and I will not provide a good review for any product or company just because they sent me some free samples.

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