Sunday, September 28, 2008

back to school - part three

my friend alex, who somehow always knows where to find the good stuff, just sent me the 411 on this awesome lunchbox alternative. the company is called laptop lunches and they use an american version of the japanese bento box for transporting lunches to school. the set pictured above is $20.99 and you can get all kinds of accessories for it, like extra containers and an insulated sleeve with a non toxic ice pak. the insulated sleeve looks like the heavy neoprene that doesn't contain lead like the other insulated lunchboxes out there. fantastic...thanks for the tip alex!

Monday, September 22, 2008

back to school - part two

packing school lunches. really, the bane of my existence. the whole packing lunch thing is so fraught with non-green choices, it's hard to know what to do. like, plastic bags for example. i use a million of them. and i try to reuse, but it's not always possible. also, things like apple sauce comes in those handy little plastic cups, good for time saving, yay. bad for the environment, boo. so i am happy to hear that some schools are actually requiring that all school lunches have no packaging that can be thrown away. it's forcing me off my plastic baggie addiction and back on the environmentally friendly train. here are some suggestions on bagging a green lunch:

- skip the individual container choices. these seem like a time saver but they really have way too much packaging. the big box, the wrapper, the individual bags. i use the little plastic cups from glad for fruit and crackers etc. and as an added bonus they don't get smooshed in the bag.

- use a wrap-a-mat for sandwiches. have you seen these? they are like washable envelopes for sandwiches. it's a little like origami, but you'll get the hang of it. they are fantastic and only $6.50. you can also make them yourself, check out this awesome diy site, small objects.

- don't buy the insulated lunch bags. these contain lead and phthalates and really are generally another thing that the kids just don't need. when we were growing up we had a turkey sandwiches that we threw in our lockers at 7 am and ate and 11:35. and it was fine. totally fine. if you really need to have the lunches cold, throw an ice pack in with it. toby + rei sells an awesome robot lunch sack that's made from 100% organically grown cotton.

- remember when you were a kid with your holly hobbie lunchbox and thermos and then your mom would send soup in the thermos? how weird is that to think about now? anyways, thermoses have come a long way baby. i love the foogo insulated straw cups. bpa free and they keep drinks cold for up to 12 hours. $14.99 at

if anyone has any other great green lunch ideas, please feel free to post a comment.