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Greening Our Lunch Bags

I am now staring at the prospect of having
to pack two (TWO!) lunches and two (TWO!) snacks every day. Well,
not every day with Cora, but it sounds more dramatic to say it that
way. And Cora’s quite excited about getting a big-girl lunch
packed for her, having picked out a very nice princess lunch box
from the eco-friendly Crocodile Creek company, while Maddie has
said she wants to use her old backpack and lunch bag again this
year: “No use buying another one when we’ve got a
perfectly good one for me.”

Sometimes my kids make me quite happy.

At any rate, we’ve already got a
pretty green lunch bag going on: both girls have their reusable
thermoses and water bottles that they take everywhere, and all food
is stored in either the reusable Ziploc-like href="http://www.lunchskins.com/Default.asp"
(did I mention dishwasher safe
and easy to clean?) or in the toddler-friendly href="http://www.containerstore.com/shop/kitchen/foodontheGo/foodContainers?productId=10025859&N=78866"
line. I know, it’s plastic,
but it seals well, doesn’t leak, is BPA-free, and I hand-wash
it. And a three-year-old can open it by herself, which is no small
feat. We’ve been using the Clik-It line since Maddie started
pre-school two years ago and it’s held up well for us.

But there were two areas that still needed greening: napkin and
cutlery. For the napkin, I’d been thinking about hitting a
local antique mall and buying some old hankies for a dollar each so
Maddie and Cora would have pretty “napkins” for their
bags. I mentioned the idea to a friend and Maddie overheard me
discussing it with my mom, and suddenly we’re at the store
and have bought about a dozen hankies for around twenty bucks. Cora
and Maddie were quite taken with the idea – which I’d
been trying to keep hidden so I could buy them, send to a friend
for monogramming, and then give them to the girls with their
initials on them for Christmas – and they sat down on the
store floor sorting and arranging, narrowing it down to their
favorite (cost-friendly) choices. They’re quite excited and
can’t wait to start using them.

As for the cutlery, I’ve been putting reusable melamine
spoons in Maddie’s lunches for years, and she was just fine
with that for pre-school. But then one day at kindergarten I forgot
to include a spoon and the lunch helper brought Maddie a plastic
spork, and a love affair was born. I soon discovered Maddie was
leaving her spoon at the bottom of her bag so she could have a
spork – which of course was then thrown away. This will not

So I’ve been searching for a spork, looking for something in
the bamboo family. I found a line of bamboo sporks that are about
two bucks a piece, and look hardy but are no huge hardship if
accidentally tossed. Unfortunately, they look kind of, um, stupid,
and I don’t think I personally would want to be holding it.
Ergodynamic it is not. Does anyone have a line on something like

School is coming, you know. And apparently all the cool kids are
using sporks.


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