Thursday, March 12, 2009

Where Do All the Baggies Go?

I hate making school lunches. I hate coming up with clever menus in an attempt to get my kids to eat somewhat healthy meals each day. I mostly get by with pb&j sandwiches, a bit of fruit, and goldfish crackers that are likely loaded with more ingredients than necessary, and every so often I get very savvy and plan ahead with leftovers from the previous nights dinner. So how do I package all of these delicious morsels for my little chicas? Why, with love, of course. I also have utilized products from Kid Konserve and Wrap-N-Mat. Both provide wonderfully reusable products that can be used in kid and adult lunches. The Laptop Lunch just didn't do it for me, but I know many families who rave about it and manage to make the bento style box work amazingly for their food choices.

So, while I was diligently using the reusable sandwich wraps and stainless steel food containers I always felt remiss while grabbing for a plastic ziplock bag for particular items. It was only after stopping in at Kid Dynamo, a great "healthy kid, healthy planet" retail store in Berkeley, that the owners turned me onto natural waxed paper bags. They are unbleached, non-toxic when incinerated, landfill safe, and will not contaminate ground water. You can just toss them in your compost or trash and know that you are not contributing to our growing environmental detriment. Since using them I have found them to hold up great for sliced fruits or veggies, chips, crackers, etc.... pretty much anything you would use plastic bags for except mushy-type items that would be better served in a reusable glass container.

To put the plastic bag usage in perspective Americans throw away close to 100 billion plastic bags each year. Many of those are plastic ziplock baggies. These bags often end up in our bodies of water, which then end up in our fish, and then onto our dinner tables. As described by Katharine Mieszkowski of Salon Magazine, "Plastic bags are killing us." By replacing our plastic bag usage with non-toxic items that we can compost there is a chance of eliminating this epidemic while preventing scenarios such as this...

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