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Friday, September 3, 2010

Eco-Lunches

Sometimes it's the simple everyday things that we do that have a big impact. Take, for example, brown bagging it. Many of us opt to bring our own lunches - to work, to school - to save money and to guarantee that we have fresh, healthy options. But school and workday lunches can be big contributors to local landfills, packed with disposable wrappings, paper napkins and polluting plastics. It is estimated that the average disposable school lunch generates 67 pounds of waste per school year. That adds up to about 18,000 pounds a year for the average elementary school child.

Not only can lunch be bad for the environment, but exposure to many types of plastics can be dangerous to your health. Bisphenol-A has been implicated in increasing aggression among girls, and contributing to rising rates of heart disease, obesity, and infertility. To make matters worse, recent findings by the Environmental Law Foundation indicate juice boxes may contain significant amounts of lead, leaving parents concerned.

But parents need not despair: greening your lunch (and making it healthier and safer) is not as difficult as you think! And now, thanks to The Soft Landing's Safe Munch Program, you can find great eco- and health-conscious products to pack a green lunch and 10% of sales will be donated to the Holistic Moms Network! Here are some simple changes you can make to make lunch more sustainable, safer, healthier and supportive of holistic parenting:

Ditch plastic sandwich bags. From lined fabric wraps that sponge-wash clean to BPA-free containers that won't squish your sandwich, it's easy to find a reusable container for whatever you like to pack! Full-sized sandwich wraps and little reusable snack containers are greener options for whatever you like to tote.

Drink safe. Skip the juice boxes and invest in safe, reusable bottles to pack your favorite beverages instead!

Try cloth. Switch from bleached, disposable paper napkins to easy to wash cloth in fun patterns and designs, for you and for your kids!

Use sustainable utensils. Plastic forks and spoons are winding up in our oceans, along with other plastics. Reusable BPA-free utensils will reduce your exposure and help protect wildlife.

Check out the great alternatives at The Soft Landing and use code HMN2010 in the Group Code section when setting up your account to find a better way to brown-bag it and to support HMN's mission!

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