Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday Series- The Eco-Elitist- Packing Lunches

For those of you who are new to the blog, I'm doing a Tuesday series discussing easy ways to make changes in your life to be a bit more friendly to our earth either by reducing the garbage that you send to the curb, your carbon dioxide output or by just reducing your use of our precious natural resources. I practice as much eco-friendly tips as I can- but I'm in no way perfect and I call myself an eco-elitist with "tongue in cheek."

Today, I'm into packing lunches. Maybe because I'm writing this post close to lunch time, who knows? The food industry has done so much to make our crazy busy lives (mine included) easier and more convenient (and of course more sterile). But, by doing this they have encouraged us to create more waste. I've done a post on reusable water bottles. There are so many great options out there, from Kleen Kanteen to Camelbak and Sigg. Check out this article: http://orangeandpear.blogspot.com/2009/04/im-not-trying-to-be-eco-elitist-part-1.html. There is simply no need to use juice boxes. They are made with paper, coating, metal and plastic and just cannot be recycled properly. I have found a great lunch box from Pottery Barn that allows you to stand up a sippy cup. There are so many lunch boxes or bags that will allow for this.

1. Sandwich bags- the plastic ziploc kind - try not to use them. They just sit in a landfill for thousands of years or get eaten by a poor whale or fish. No need. They are so many cute, fun reusable bag options that will add a little pizzazz to your lunch or your child's lunch. By doing this, you might even encourage someone else to follow suit. I'm going to first reccomend you check out www.reusablebags.com- one of my favorite sites for eco-friendly shopping and for great information. Below is an image of a great set of sandwich sacks called Happy Sacks. They come in fun colors and are velcro and very easy to clean and use:

Etsy is another great resource for sandwich, snack and lunch bags. Etsy is a website that allows millions of crafters, artists and collectors to sell their designs, creations and wares. Many of the crafters have created (wow, that's a mouthful) many fun options for just this thing. I love Julie Meyer. She makes sandwich and lunch bags in oil cloth which is quite easy to clean and wipe off. They are perfect for small sandwiches or snacks. Just click on the picture to go to her shop on Etsy. Below is her gingham and polka dot prints in yellow but she has many more prints.

These are from Green Street (also on Etsy).

Then, I saw these on Decor8. They are just so chic and fun and perfect for an adult or a child. They are designed by DownhomeAmy - also on Etsy.

2. Try to buy bulk snacks (in one large box) and transfer it to plastic containers (or metals ones) that are reusable. Of course look for plastic ones that are BPA free like the ones above from Pottery Barn Kids. I'm not perfect here. I am definitely guilty of throwing the mini gold fish bags in their lunch or for a car trip but I try to do the "transfer thing." It is so much better. Sigg makes a great aluminum set for snacks (and sandwiches also).

As for utensils, why use disposable? It's pretty easy to throw the silverware in the dishwasher when you get home. The idea is that your lunch box or bag comes home with only the containers or bags that held your food to be washed or wiped down. You should not have to throw out anything!

For more info on waste-free lunches. Check out:



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