Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day & My First Bento Box Lunches

There's so much to say today!  HAPPY EARTH DAY!  

Last week's guest post was such a huge smashing success - thanks again to Let's Go Fly a Kite for sharing her recycled paper wreath!  Check out her blog this week as she's kept with an Earth Week theme - I absolutely love her Eco-Organization project from a few days ago pictured below.


BENTO BOX LUNCHES

I've been getting a LOT of questions about how it's going with the Bento Box Lunches for my little guy.  Thanks for all the interest!  The idea was to make him a healthy lunch without any waste & using all reusable packaging.  We're on Day 4 (we started for Earth Week too, by coincidence) and I've learned a few lessons so far:

  • You don't have to fill every container - keep in mind how much  your child will actually eat so you're not wasting food.  Small portions are good.
  • My child is more than happy with his reusable water bottle (no more buying juice boxes or organic milk boxes) and is thrilled to see sliced organic lemons, limes & oranges in his water - picking up a bag of organic lemons on sale at Whole Foods this weekend was a great deal.  I love that I'm cutting down on his sugar and he doesn't mind one bit!
  • It takes some planning.  It has taken me 25min to make his lunch so far every day!  A friend of mine went ballistic when I told her that.  She can make her kid's lunch in 3 minutes.  Really?  I'm sure it's just because I'm not doing the prep work the night before, and my knife skills at 7am are just not that quick.  Plus I'm trying to be creative and use fresh food.  I've already given in to a cereal bar & organic bunny grahams when I felt like I was cutting it close!
  • A menu in his lunch box explaining what he was eating was a huge hit (although he still didn't know what his apple fritter was and thought it was some strange kind of chicken!)  


Favorite items so far have been the homemade banana/oatmeal/chocolate chip muffins for snack time, fresh fruit (this week I used mango, strawberries, fresh pineapple, apples, & mandarin oranges), the tuna & carrot "sushi" rolls I made (he likes the added crunch of the carrots) and the fresh edibles from our garden (I used fresh mint, a nasturtium blossom, & chives to tie the sushi rolls.)




I already have plans for next week which necessitates a trip to Trader Joe's this weekend, but I need to keep up the variety and speed up the morning process with a little evening prep work.  Yeah, it is a little work, but you should have seen my little guy's face when he very proudly told me he hasn't thrown out a single piece of trash at lunchtime, and how good feels about that!

(Julien's Bento Box came from Laptop Lunches, and I've found it cheaper on Amazon.com since Amazon offers free shipping.  My goal there was to find something as food safe as possible.  This fit the bill nicely for me.  Also search Amazon for all the cool Bento accessories like the hard-boiled egg molds and special cutters!)

COMPOSTABLE PAPER PLATES

So we're trying to create less waste, but what about when you're hosting a party or picnic for waaaaay more people than you have plates?  More than a few times a year I host such a fete.  I'm good with cutlery, but for the plates I've moved on to compostable paper plates.  My question was how easily do they really compost?  Here's a photo of 2 I pulled out of my composter after they've been sitting in there since September.



I had imagined it would go much faster, but keep in mind that it was over winter.  The other 30 or so plates in there haven't composted much at all.  Let's see how things heat up now though :)

I also want to send out a big THANK YOU to my readers & to everyone following along on this GREEN journey.  This week we quickly surpassed 1,000 views and my guests have come from as many as 16 countries!!!  I hope it sparks a few ideas or offers some useful advice.  Now, before I can go out and enjoy this gorgeous Earth Day, I have a boatload of real estate work to get through!    Happy Earth Day to all of you :)  


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