It will be a few years still before my daughter Grace starts school, but I remember my own mom’s attempts to cut back on lunchtime waste. She was way ahead of her time. Before anyone else (that I knew anyway!) was thinking about saving trees or reducing landfill waste, she packed me tupperware containers of home-canned fruit, made me bring home my ziploc baggies so she could wash and reuse them, and filled thermoses with hot soup. I always used a lunchbox or reusable insulated lunchbag, although I think I did go through a self-conscious phase in high school where she caved and let me use brown bags for a time.
These childhood memories came flooding back today when I saw reusablebags.com focus this month on packing waste-free lunches. One child’s lunchbag can send thousands of ziploc bags to the landfill over the course of their schooldays. One child’s lunchbag can also send just about nothing to the landfill, with a little planning and use of containers you probably already have in your kitchen, perhaps augmented with some really cool products from the Reusablebags site, such as this Wrap-N-Mat (pictured right) for sandwiches. It’s only $6.95! One box of ziplocs costs that, so it quickly pays for itself. I love it when I can be good to my pocketbook and good to the planet.