Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Trade The Brown Bag For Green

Maybe it’s a little bit of OCD, but I am in love with these bento style lunch boxes. Not just because using them drastically reduces waste, but also because every day when you open the lid you are met with this amazing little mosaic of food. Everything all carefully laid out in a road map of lunchtime bliss, each item assigned its own neat compartment. The possibilities seem endless. The tidy configuration with its unassailable boundaries between food items defies you to stick with the usual boring sandwich, apple, chips routine. Stretch out. Pack cous-cous salad. Caprese. Sushi. It’s what Lunchables would be if they were made with real food and didn’t come in a disposable piece of landfill.

Clearly, I’m not alone in my obsession. There are whole Flickr pools dedicated to art of the Laptop Lunch. Do I occasionally find myself scrolling through them just to see all the imaginative ways to put the UN in lunch? Admittedly, yes. I’m weird that way.

But the best part about the bento-ware is the fact that it produces no waste. Think about this as the school year gets underway: the average lunch-toting child generates 67 pounds of garbage per school year (ref. www.greenopia.com). That translates to 18,760 pounds of waste for the average elementary school. Imagine the difference if all those kids traded their brown bags and Zip-locs for a dishwasher safe, reusable Laptop Lunch system.

Designed by a Santa Cruz-based company, the lunch boxes are available at www.laptoplunches.com and also at some retail outlets like Whole Foods. Check the site for retailers in your area.

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