Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Plastic Baggies: "Bye, Bye!"

Neither the preschool that my son went to, nor his elementary school allow plastic baggies in the students' lunch boxes. They have "trash-free" lunches.  So, I put everything in reusable containers.  Until recently, I had yet to find a sandwich container that is the right size to hold a sandwich, but is not too big so that it fills up the entire lunch box - leaving no room for anything else.   I struggled with these awkward containers, and then I happened upon something called LunchSkins.

Here is an excerpt from the LunchSkins website, which talks about how LunchSkins began:

"While sitting around a kitchen table in 2008, we heard a staggering statistic - every day, more than 20 million sandwich bags from school lunches go into landfills in the US. We knew that many families were looking for easy, convenient ways to be green and avoid this kind of waste. So we put our passion and energy together and 3greenmoms was born. Our mission - to design a colorful, fresh alternative to the plastic baggie.

It seemed relatively easy... all we needed was a food-safe, dishwasher-friendly, moderately-attractive reusable bag. How hard could that be? Our number one priority was to find a food-safe fabric, so we went straight to the food industry. There, we found a very high-quality European fabric used by patisseries and bakeries certified as food-safe. Conveniently, this fabric is durable and withstands high heat, too - bingo! It can withstand repeated cycles in the dishwasher. We came up with some fresh, modern designs for those of us who want to dress up our bag lunch. Then, we found a family-owned manufacturer nearby in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

It all sounds logical, right? But, after many prototypes, sleepless nights, exhausting early morning flights and late evening telephone calls, we think we’re on the right track. Getting here wasn’t easy, but LunchSkins have now put a fresh face on an old idea. Thankfully, it has been a family affair with husbands, kids and friends sharing advice and support on a daily basis.

Whether you care about our environment, saving money, eating healthy, or looking stylish, LunchSkins are the answer to your plastic baggie blues -- they offer an environmental benefit (reduce landfill waste), a practical benefit (they can be used hundreds of times and save you money over the long run), and a healthy choice (food tastes better in a pastry bag). Welcome to our family!"

And it seems that business has been good.  And landfills are feeling the ease. Look at this!

"In just one year, our LunchSkins customers have taken a big bite out of landfill and ocean waste. With your purchase and use of LunchSkins, more than 12 million plastic baggies have been saved from the landfill. WOW! We’re on a mission to reduce the number of plastic baggies thrown out. Help us reach our 2011 goal of keeping 100 million plastic baggies out of landfills and waterways. Bag the (plastic) baggies!"

We love our Lunchskins sandwich bag.  I can toss it in the top rack of the dishwasher, or handwash it.  It is so durable!  Plus, my son likes the cool design on his.  Check it out.  And think about "trash-free" lunches for your kids!

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