There's a lot of great information in this post and I encourage you to read through it ... however, if you don't have the time right now, you might find the following quick links helpful:
One of the precepts of Reduce Footprints is the idea that small actions make a difference, especially when a bunch of us act together. So I was thrilled with last week's challenge because it asked us to take a look at a seemingly small thing (lunches) and eliminate the waste involved with them. In my area, fresh produce from local farms is becoming plentiful ... so our lunches consisted of fresh salads, veggie sandwiches made with homemade bread and fruit bowls. We treated ourselves to a picnic and used reusable plates, utensils, cloth napkins and reusable storage containers. It was a great exercise in paying attention to detail.
The Honor Society are those people who help us spread the "green" word by writing an article about our challenges and/or leaving pertinent comments. Here's what they had to say:
CelloMom shares that her CSA boxes are full of fresh leafy veggies. So eating local, organic and raw is no problem. She focused on how lunches are packed and said "My children's lunches have since recently been packed in stainless steel tiffins: chemically clean, and totally leak-proof. I love them!" But what about take-out lunches? Her answer: "I've taken them (the tiffins, that is) to the Indian restaurant for take-out: those guys didn't bat an eye, filled them right up with my favourite dishes, mmmm. Next challenge: bring the tiffins for Chinese take-out."
Argentum Vulgaris decided to go to a restaurant for lunch. How did he reduce lunch waste? By choosing well! Find out about that, HERE.
CelloMom and AV had a little chat going on in the comments section. AV didn't know about CSA's and thought, by CelloMom's comment, that it was something personal. To that CelloMom responded "But it _is_ personal: I know "my" farmer, his wife, his dog... They got married on the farm, some of the flower beds were reserved for the wedding. People are constantly seen grinning at each other, as we haul the bounty to our cars; there is a lively recipe exchange on the fields. It's wonderful." I love the exchange of thoughts and ideas!
I knew that this challenge would be right up Mrs. Green's alley because she is passionate about reducing waste of all kinds. In Packing a zero waste lunch! she offers a bunch of great ideas and tips. One of my favorites is only packing what your child (or you) will eat. Brilliant ... doesn't matter how local, organic and Eco-packaged an item is if it isn't eaten.
Kristina wrote Back To School which includes tips about reducing lunch waste (and for folks who have school-aged children, she also offers other ideas for making school a more "green" activity). She says "I have also added sending cloth napkins and reusable utensils in with my kids' lunches. I originally started doing this to save them time - they don't have much time to eat lunch and I didn't want them wasting a few mins. getting a spoon. I KNEW they wouldn't bother getting a napkin, so adding the cloth napkin was more of a way to save some stains since I know they'd use a sleeve :) I accumulated my various containers, cloth napkins, utensils ... over time. Although I have to admit that most of it is plastic. I just haven't found stainless steel ones that I really like. Any suggestions out there? I tried LunchBots - they are OK for some things, but don't seem to make a tight seal." Hm ... any ideas for Kristina?
Alicia accepted the challenge and had this to say "Oh this is great! We compost our peels from our veggies, we always use cloth napkins and we love using our leftovers.We try to eat local and our daughter has introduced us to raw recipes. This is new to us and we are loving the raw meals that she has fixed. We are now so excited to try lots of new raw recipes." Hope you'll be blogging about your raw recipes, Alicia ... I'd love to hear more!
Our Twitter friends shared their thoughts this week:
- I can't believe it's Wednesday already . Which means another day to do some small thinks to change the world , follow the #CTWW gang.
- There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. #CTWW check out newest blog
- I'm going to take part in this weeks challenge. Local & Raw is no problem for me since there are farmers markets everywhere
- Lunch is typically a small serving of leftovers with a salad, fruit, yogurt & a square of dark chocolate for dessert. Non-packaged
- During winter months, eating locally grown food is hard, as we love our "greens"; but in summer we grow & frequent the farmers market
- Avoid the individual servings of yogurt. Actually, any flavored yogurt pales to comparison to fresh fruit & yogurt ...blended or not
- Healthy School Lunches - Making Lunch Eco-Friendly http://www.monkeysee.com/play/17863-healthy-school-lunches-making-lunch-eco-friendly
- For my #CTWW I gave a bunch of gr8 clothes to a friend to re-use. Now I challenge my followers, what can u do for the enviro 2day?
- I <3 these (sustainable harvested) bamboo utensil sets, chopsticks, fork, spoon and knife. See at http://www.to-goware.com/ no more plastic - I take my left-overs for lunch in a bowl with a saucer on top, held with those big broccoli elastics! No waste! Pyrex is my fave too! - Use pyrex/glass to store lunch you will reheat. Plastic-microwaves are bad news, not a fan of plastic in general due to BPA content. From @thenewauthor - Your challenge this week is very fitting as my wife and I have been eating salads for lunch for the last couple days. From @rckweddings - The challenge this week - waste free lunches. That means nothing can be thrown out. So reusable everything. Let's do this! I am! - waste free lunch - Reusable items; drink box or bottle, napkin, utensils, containers, lunch bag or box. This should be easy 2 do :) From @gwened02 - for me, it's thinking of things to include that don't include single servings. - made OH's lunch put it in re-useable food box. But left with wrappers from ham, cheese and bread :( From @rulesofgreen - today's lunch was at home so no waste!yesterday's produced some waste though as we ate at a restaurant in Stockholm(paper napkins etc) - Lunch today: left-overs from yesterday in re-usable containers
The #CTWW Gang are those folks who share our challenges on twitter using the hashtag #CTWW. If you're a Twitter member, I highly recommend following them ... they have a lot of great things to say. Let's meet them:
My Final Thoughts:
If you wander the center isles of a grocery store, you're likely to see all kinds of convenience foods ... individual, single-serve packages ideal for dropping into a lunch bag. Add a paper napkin and disposable utensils ... and maybe some money for a drink from a vending machine ... and lunch is complete for you, you're child or your spouse. After eating, simply toss everything into the garbage can and voila ... the meal is complete. No fuss ... no muss ... life is good! But is it? What is the Eco-cost of that convenience? When one considers the price that the environment pays for those single servings ... all adding to our landfills ... all requiring precious resources to be produced ... well, it doesn't seem quite so convenient after all.
Thanks, everyone! If you wrote an article, I have Stumbled, Tweeted, Facebooked and posted it on Google +. You can help spread the "green" word by using the share feature at the bottom of this post.
This Week's Challenge:
On our last Meet & Greet Monday, someone was kind enough to leave a link to a brilliant TEDx talk about Transition Culture. It starts with sharing an idea and results in amazing environmental progress. I found it to be inspiring! So ... I turned it into a challenge! Here you go ...
This week, watch the following video. Then share it in some way ... email it to a friend, share it on a social network, post it to your blog, etc. AND THEN ... consider how you might affect change in your community. Of course ... we want to hear all about it!
For the video and additional information, please click HERE.
For the video and additional information, please click HERE.
Are you up for this challenge? I know that you are!!
If you have a challenge idea, please send it to me HERE. I keep all ideas and will get to each and every one.
Join me in our mantra ...
WE'RE CHANGING THE WORLD ... ONE CHALLENGE AT A TIME!