5 Solutions to Packing a Waste-Free Lunch

Back-to-School with a Waste-Free Lunch

According to wastefreelunches.org, families can save nearly $250 per year PER PERSON just by packing a waste-free lunch! That’s $1,000 a year for a family of four!

You know that time between Memorial Day and Labor Day they call Summer?  It came and went so fast!  And now here we are again, with children preparing to go back-to-school, school buses slowing down morning commutes, and a buzz of conversation about after-school classes, where to find non-toxic school supplies, and idea swapping on the age old dilemma … what to pack for your kids lunch.  Just this past week I put a PB&J sandwich into my daughter’s PVC free sandwich bag for her first packed school lunch of the year… and she turned her nose up at it!  What’s a mom to do?

Solutions to what to pack for lunch are many, but what about a waste-free lunch? You know, a lunch that’s not filled with lunch-size-that or mini-this that build up your grocery bill (and landfill!). According to WasteFreeLunches.org, families can save nearly $250 per year per person just by packing a waste-free lunch.  With that thought in mind, I looked online to see what PVC-free products I could find that would help me pack a waste-free lunch.  Read the rest of this entry »

Green Mama: Waste-Free Home

Hilltown Families Contributing Writer

At Peace with Living Green

If you are a diehard environmentalist you may be familiar with the name Bea Johnson. And if you weren’t aware of her before there’s a good chance that name is now ringing a bell with families everywhere.

An Associated Press article that appeared in local newspapers across the country earlier this month documented Johnson’s efforts to create a “zero waste” lifestyle within her home and highlighted her blog (zerowastehome.blogspot.com) which documents the past year and a half of her journey. And if the new comments on her blog are any indication of her growing popularity, then it won’t be long before Bea Johnson becomes a household name.

Johnson’s waste-free endeavors put this green mama’s conservation efforts to shame.

Johnson shops in bulk with reusable bags, jars, etc. from home to aid her in her commitment to create a wrapper-free home. According to the article she uses sealable glass jars to house her meat from the butcher and fills reusable bags made from bed sheets with rice, pasta, oatmeal and nuts. She also blogs about her attempts to have a waste-free Christmas and this fashion-conscious mom replenishes her wardrobe each year by shopping at thrift stores.

After reading this article I was inspired to peruse my kitchen to see what extra waste we McIlquhams could eliminate in our home and was both pleased and appalled at what I found.

First I never did understand why grocery stores had plastic bags to house one’s fruits and vegetables. For years I found myself filling a bag with apples only to take them out as soon as I got home to wash them and put them in a bowl on the counter and throw out the bag. Without realizing it our family had eliminated the extra plastic when we switched from buying most of our produce at the grocery store to purchasing it from an organic market in town. The vegetables come in returnable plastic containers or cardboard boxes with no other packaging whatsoever. We recently switched to a cardboard box which we recycle because my husband kept hoarding the plastic containers and forgetting to return them, but I think we may rethink this choice for the future.

Thanks to Johnson I also ran into the grocery store the other day to pick up a red onion and passed on the plastic bag. Why didn’t I figure that one out before is beyond me?

I was feeling pretty pleased with myself until I looked in the pantry.  Read the rest of this entry »

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