I enjoy pretty much everything there is that has to do with the outdoors. Some of my most peaceful moments have been while walking through the forest, sitting on a beach, or boating (minus the loud engine). Accordingly I have a great respect for nature and enjoy learning about the plants and wildlife therein. My plan is to continue that learning process and hopefully enhance it by sharing what I learn. I intend for this blog to serve many purposes, but in the immediate future it will be a place for me, and hopefully others, to share ideas about reducing our individual impact on this planet, protecting wild spaces, and in general just to comment on the things we enjoy most in the great outdoors. I welcome all opinions as otherwise you cannot consider every aspect of a subject. However, I would ask that every opinion be expressed in a respectful way and considered with an open mind. Often there is no single right answer. Thanks.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Litterless Lunches

The school my children attend has made the change to litterless lunches.  Litterless lunches mean that any garbage your child takes to school they must take home with them.  Among other things the school is encouraging parents to avoid buying individually wrapped snacks and instead buy bulk.  Then send these bulk items to school in smaller, reusable containers.

I currently have a stash of ziploc containers that I use for sandwiches, cut fruit and veggies, and dry snacks.  It works for the most part, but given that they are not super expensive, I have not taken the time to put labels on them and, therefore, I am sure my supply is getting smaller and smaller.  Also, an odd assortment of sizes and shapes makes it tricky to fit into the lunch box sometimes.  In chatting with school staff and other parents about the many alternatives to plastic bags I have been introduced to a few different sites with some great options.  (http://www.tinygiggles.ca/, http://www.fenigo.com/, and http://www.tupperware.ca/.) Of course items like these can be pricey and it may be worth your time to check out some second hand stores, or use less expensive options.  Whatever works for you!

I can see that some people may see this change as being more trouble than it is worth.  But where does the garbage go when the landfill is full?  Sure, that will be many years down the road.  But I do not think it is fair to say "It's not our problem" and push it forward for our future adults to deal with.  Would you want the next landfill down the road from your house?  Why would anyone else?  By nature of their size, and the amount of time people spend there, schools can have a huge impact on diverting waste from the landfill.  The fact that many schools are promoting these types of recycling programs, despite the effort and time required, is a very positive step forward.

Just as I learned more about germs, and how to prevent sharing them, from my children as they went through preschool, hopefully parents will take the time to listen and implement the important lessons their children are learning in regards to waste reduction.

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