Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bring Your Lunch!

Bring Your Lunch!
Bring your lunch… Eat theFood! I’ll never get tired of that clip from Napoleon Dynamite… Okay sorry, back to my point.

Talking your lunch to work or school is not only better on the wallet (you will save from $1,000-$2,000 per year!), it’s better on your waistline and the environment. But you don’t have to limit yourself to pb&j or canned tuna. Health Magazine has put together some healthy lunch options that are quite creative. Three good tips I’ll pass along from my experience are:

  1. Plan ahead. Take the time to make a good grocery list to cover you for the week and choose things you don’t mind eating more than once.
  2. Prep the night before. I can’t tell you how many times I have scrambled to throw together a good lunch at 8:45am when I should have already left for work. Take 10 minutes the night before to pack your bag.
  3. Prep in bulk. My goal is to put together at least 3 to 4 lunches on Sunday night. This past Sunday I prepped 3 and brought my lunch 2 days so far this week. (YAY ME!) I made a corn, black bean, avocado, grape tomato and grilled asparagus salad. (Similar to this recipe)
Don’t forget to bring healthy snacks, too, like natural almonds, Greek yogurt, whole fruits, crackers and hummus. That will hopefully keep you from hitting the vending machine!

Every day, more than 20 million sandwich bags from school lunches go into landfills in the U.S. (according to 3greenmoms). This week's prize will hopefully encourage more people to bring their lunch. Pledge to bring your lunch and be entered to win $20 worth of LunchSkin products of your choice.  

Won’t you take the pledge, too? You can read more about our Friday Freebie contests here. Enter on Facebook by stating your pledge on our wall, or answering the poll at the top. If you are a Twitter follower, simply state “I pledge to bring my lunch!”

Friday, August 3, 2012

A paperless kitchen?

I read a blog a couple of years ago from Simple Mom on How to Create a Paperless Kitchen. I really thought that it was helpful, but I just didn’t see how I could make it work! I have plenty of towels, but with a cat, sometimes I just don’t want to mix post-litter-box-cleaning hand drying and food drying on the same towel – you know what I mean?

Paper towels make up a huge portion of the paper market, second only to toilet paper. According to, world consumption of paper has grown 400 percent in the last 40 years. Now nearly 4 billion trees or 35 percent of the total trees cut around the world are used in paper industries on every continent.

But I have started to take small steps. I now reserve the thinner tea towels just for drying fruits and vegetables, whereas before I would go through 5 or 6 paper towels per meal just drying off zucchini. I also buy recycled paper towels or brands that offer smaller sizes to be torn off, reducing our usage because we only use half a paper towel at a time. For napkins, I only buy 100% Post-consumer waste (PCW). Recycled toilet tissue is a hard change, so I’ll leave that one to individual preference. J

Want to learn more about how to be a smarter paper shopper? Download Greenpeace’s Recycled Tissue and Toilet Paper Guide if you are concerned about where your paper comes from and want to make a more informed decision of what to buy.

The guide from the Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) is A Shopper’s Guide to Home Tissue Products and shows facts about our paper use with their “who to avoid” list of paper manufacturers.

For printed paper, be sure you are looking for paper suppliers that offer at least 10% if not 50% or higher PCW and are FSC Certified

I recently purchased a box of tissues from Lowe’s Foods (where I get 5 cents for each reusable bag I bring) and noticed they have implemented environmental standards to some of their paper products.  I tracked down the FSC Certificate and found that it was valid and registered to an organization called Clearwater Paper Corporation, with a papermaking location right here in North Carolina. Seems like a good choice to me!

It’s no coincidence our Friday Freebie prize for this upcoming week is a 4-pack of SKOY Cloths. Jen at Pin-n-Tell blogged about her conversion from paper towels. Won’t you take the pledge, too? You can enter on Facebook by stating your pledge on our wall, or answering the poll at the top. If you are a Twitter follower, simply state “I pledge to reduce my use of paper products!”