Laptop Lunch and the Bento Revolution
Lunch can be a difficult meal for a green connoisseur. Since most kids and adults are away from home at lunch time, options are often limited to buying a hot lunch from a questionable source, or packing your own. And while there are lots of points in favor of packed lunches, from using up leftovers to catering for personal tastes, there are also plenty of ecological pitfalls involved. In particular, packed lunches can generate lots of waste, whether you use pre-made items from the store or pack your own in brown bags and Ziploc baggies. There are also lots of good options in reusable lunch boxes, but the Laptop Lunch system stands out for a few different reasons. First of all, the basic component of the system is a box with four smaller compartments. Packing a lunch with several small dishes encourages you (or your kids) to eat a variety of foods and helps with portion regulation, but more importantly it's appealing and fun. For some healthy and sustainable inspiration, check out Vegan Lunchbox, an amazing blog about the intricate bento-style meals you can make with this system. (The author of the blog has published a cookbook on the subject, too, also called Vegan Lunchbox). As for the system itself, we recommend the hemp "Lunch Date" package ($114.99), similar to that shown above. This offer includes the basic container unit (made of recyclable BPA-free plastic), an ice pack, insulating sleeve, fork, spoon, thermos jar for extras like soup, and a steel water bottle. Plus, you get a beautiful hemp handbag to store everything in until lunchtime. Images from Laptop Lunch and Vegan Lunchbox.