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A few tips for packing a ‘greener’ brown-bag lunch

Posted: July 17, 2009 5:15 p.m.
Updated: July 18, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Being eco-friendly isn’t just limited to the car you drive or the appliances you buy, and it doesn’t have to mean sacrificing convenience, quality or budget.

In fact, it’s time to stop feeling guilty about not being able to do it all and make a few small changes to help the environment.

One easy way to live a more earth-conscious lifestyle is to turn brown bag lunches green this school year. By thinking green every time you pack a lunch, you can save money and take a small step forward for the environment.

Do right by your wallet and the environment with these simple tips:

n Buy local foods

Look for a farmer’s market or grocery store that promotes locally grown and produced food.

Local foods are produced close to home and deliver the freshest taste. Buying local supports a more sustainable food system, since real sustainability goes beyond the methods used in food production. The closer a food source is to where you live, the less fuel it will take to get it to your table.

n Reusable lunch bag

Instead of using an old-school brown paper bag, invite your kids to help pick out a reusable lunch bag.

This small lesson in sustainability is an easy way for kids to help the environment.

Older kids won’t have to settle for a lunch box covered in cartoon characters — stylish bags are available that will satisfy even the pickiest seventh-grader.

Many reusable bags are insulated to help keep lunches cool. Reusable lunch bags come in a variety of fabrics from neoprene, recycled plastics, polyester and canvas.

n Greener sandwich bags

Feel better about using plastic sandwich bags to pack your family’s lunch with new Ziploc evolve sandwich and storage bags.

The protective, ultra-light bags are made using 25-percent less plastic than traditional sandwich bags, and manufactured using wind power — a cleaner, renewable energy source.

The bags are also manufactured with less energy overall, which is a step towards reducing greenhouse gasses.

The bags, which are widely available in grocery, mass merchandise and drug stores nationwide, offer the same quality seal, freshness protection, convenience and price that you rely on to preserve lunches and leftovers.

Visit www.ziploc.com to learn more about Ziploc evolve bags and discover new food storage tips and ideas.

n More fruits and veggies

Make lunches extra green by packing plenty of fruits and vegetables. You will encourage a lifetime of healthy eating habits by making fruits and vegetables part of every meal, including lunch.

Additionally, whole foods typically consume less energy and water compared with processed foods.

Teach your kids to eat a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables to get the most nutrients.

Think beyond carrot sticks and apples and try a simple salad of red peppers, cucumbers and green beans dressed with vinegar.

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