I truly believe in, 'be the change that you wish to see in the World'. In fact we even had a saying in India that 'social work begins at home.' After I became the chair person of the Environmental Committee at my kids' school, we introduced Waste Free Wednesday in school which means kids are supposed to bring a waste free lunch to school on Wednesdays. A lunch room audit left me completely shocked!!!!!!!! There was enormous amount of food being wasted. Other than food, the biggest waste I thought was ziploc bags. My Gosh... have we become one disposable society or what?? Now that I think about it we are so dependent on convenience that ziploc bags have become a part of our grocery budget. Luckily for me I have stuck to lowering my ziploc bag usage and I am still on the box of sandwich size ziploc bags that my friend PM gave me in March 2009 because she was moving to India. I barely have any use for it. To add to this I came across snacktaxis. They are the best things that could happen to someone trying to go 'green'. They are so convenient to carry sandwiches or snacks. The best part is they are washable. The owner, Erin is also a very nice person. She gladly sent me samples of the snack taxis to display at the funfair in school. A lot of parents liked those.
Secondly, I also found the Go Green Lunch Box. I love these, but they are slightly pricey. The coolest thing about these is that the raised lips on the lid become the lid for each compartment. This prevents food mix up during transportation. The lid of the carry bag has a dry erase board so parents can write little notes to kids. The owner, Kim was also kind enough to send me a sample.
Thirdly, I found these glass straws online. I know there are many bamboo, stainless steel and glass options available, but this website is the cheapest. At first it did feel like I am in a chemistry lab sipping my drink from a pipette, but then I got used to it. Moreover, I don't use straws that much. It was mainly for my kids and they love it! Every time they use it, I remind them that each of them saved one plastic straw from reaching the landfill.
We also encouraged kids to bring a reusable napkins. Here's a sample of what I did with my kids. They turned out really cute!
It is a nice rainy day activity and the napkin becomes special. I displayed these at the fun fair to give some ideas to parents. A lot of parents inquired whether they were for sale.
Yes, it is a little effort on the Parents' part to pack a waste free lunch, but we have to leave a better world for our kids!