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  • Waste-free Lunches
    start a waste free lunch program at your school or place of employment If you have information to share we d love to hear from you What s the Problem As Americans we have come to depend on the many convenience products that are available to us and nowhere is this more evident than in the school lunch room Most parents pack lunch items in single use plastic bags aluminum foil or wax paper or they purchase single serving items that come in their own disposable package Admittedly these products are extremely convenient but what is the environmental cost to a country that relies so heavily on them Landfills are full and overflowing Incinerators pump contaminants into the air Communities are battling over who will accept the nation s trash We all enjoy these conveniences but few of us are willing to allow new landfills and incinerators to be built in our own backyards Much of the trash we generate comes from the packaging on the food we buy and lunch foods are no exception In fact it has been estimated that on average a school age child using a disposable lunch generates 67 pounds of waste per school year

    Original URL path: http://wastefreelunches.org/ (2016-04-25)
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  • Waste-free Lunches - About Us
    free lunches for their children and themselves When teachers parents and friends became interested in the concept they started collecting waste free lunch information that they could share with one another and with others who were interested It soon became clear that families in other parts of the country were interested in learning more so they decided to post the information on the Web at wastefreelunches org In 2001 two of the moms Amy Hemmert and Tammy Pelstring decided to make a greater commitment to helping families pack waste free lunches They wrote a book of nutritious earth friendly lunch ideas and designed their very own reusable lunch container Their company Obentec Inc www obentec com was founded in February 2002 and their first waste free lunch product Laptop Lunches was launched in the fall of 2002 Initially the two moms sold their Laptop Lunches over the Web through local retailers and to friends but their business has grown and their products are now sold on the Web internationally in retail stores nationally and as waste free lunch kits for schools cities solid waste agencies and other organizations See www laptoplunches com schools php for discounts promotions and fundraisers Join

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  • Waste-free Lunches - What is a waste-free lunch program?
    waste Whether the majority of students brings lunch from home or buys it at school there s almost always room for improvement A waste free lunch program is a process of educating students parents and school staff about where our trash ends up and how we as individuals can reduce the amount of trash we generate Waste free lunch programs favor the use of reusable food containers drink containers utensils and napkins They discourage the use of disposable packaging such as prepackaged foods plastic bags juice boxes and pouches paper napkins and disposable utensils What does a waste free lunch look like A Typical American Lunch DISPOSABLE sandwiches sealed in plastic bags fruits and vegetables in plastic bags prepackaged chips cookies fruit bars granola bars cheeses and fruit leathers prepackaged yogurts applesauces and puddings crackers pretzels chips and other snack foods sealed in plastic bags disposable juice boxes juice pouchs soda cans water bottles and milk cartons plastic forks and spoons paper napkins reusable lunchboxes and disposable paper and plastic bags A Waste Free Lunch REUSABLE sandwiches and other main dishes fresh fruit fresh vegetables and treats in a reusable lunch container cloth napkins stainless steel forks and spoons reusable drink containers reusable lunchboxes With this type of lunch lunch food items can be bought in larger quantities The packaging can be left at home for reuse or recycling Waste free lunches are not only a wise environmental choice but they are less expensive as well What does it cost to pack a waste free lunch A Disposable Lunch 1 egg salad sandwich 1 25 1 yogurt 85 1 granola bar 45 1 apple 30 1 package of carrots and dip 65 3 plastic bags 12 1 juice pouch 35 1 plastic spoon 04 1 paper napkin 01 TOTAL 4

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  • Waste-free Lunches - Success Stories
    by Alec Cooley Solid Waste Reduction Manager For more information check out their Web site at http www humboldt edu green features operations php The Oakland Unified School District OUSD has started an ambitious district wide recycling program of food waste diversion and single stream collection with the objective of cutting the amount of material going into the waste stream and the added benefit of saving thousands of dollars per year The program has been initiated in over 60 school sites and works like this 1 The cafeteria food waste is collected in special containers by the custodial staff 2 it is then picked up by the waste hauler and 3 sent to a compost facility The OUSD is also building a system of single stream recycling by placing all recyclable material paper cardboard plastic aluminum cans and bottles into a single container with the objective of dramatically cutting the amount of garbage produced at school sites and increasing the amount of recycling OUSD estimates they will save thousands of dollars a month through reduced garbage collection costs The OUSD s key partners are Waste Management of Alameda County the City of Oakland the Alameda County Waste Management Authority the Alameda County Office of Education and the California Integrated Waste Management Board Andre Douglass and his entire custodial staff are to be commended for implementing this innovative program Blue Oak School Napa Valley s first independent school has made waste reduction a priority by implementing Waste Free Wednesdays a program which aims to reduce lunchtime waste while encouraging a broader environmental awareness among students parents and the school community David Darlington of Environmental Education for Kids EEK conducted a waste free lunch pilot program at Marylin Avenue Elementary School The project was funded by the City of Livermore CA Waste free lunch kits were distributed to thirty students in a single class Families were encouraged to pack waste free lunches as often as possible Click here to see their results Oak Hills Elementary School in Ventura County set a goal of zero waste generation also focusing on lunch and snack activities and modeled after a program being carried out at all six schools located within the Sacramento area s Oak Park Unified School District Here are the fundamentals of the program student lunches and snacks only use reusable containers no paper napkins or nonreusable packaging are allowed all drinks must be in reusable or recyclable containers no glass nothing is thrown away The 500 students only fill one 55 gallon can of trash during lunch Previously the same students filled eight of these cans The Palo Verde Unified School District a rural district located in the Mojave Desert has joined the City of Blythe a prison and a waste hauler to divert over 3 tons of milk and juice boxes and more than 40 cubic yards of cardboard from local landfills All the proceeds from recycled cardboard sales go to fund the prison where laborer sort and bale the material for reuse The Laytonville Unified School District in Mendocino County discovered that worms can be enlisted in the fight to curb waste In 1993 14 000 pounds of waste were diverted through composting and recycling efforts Lunch waste including nonprotein food waste and paper bags is taken to worm bins in the school garden The worms and other waste reduction activities reduced the school s garbage by 60 to 80 percent Georgiana Bruce Kirby Preparatory School in Santa Cruz serves lunch daily using reusable plates cups bowls and utensils Napkins are made out of 100 recycled content Chef Rene prepares lunch daily from scratch using organic locally grown produce whenever possible The salad bar is included in the price of lunch and a vegetarian option is offered every day Click HERE for more information COLORADO Eco Cycle s Recycling and Environmental Education Program provides two opportunities for Boulder County schools to reduce their lunch waste The first is the Litterless Lunch Project To participate a class must first weigh their lunch trash during one normal week and record the weight each day per capita divide weight of trash by number of students who brought cold lunch that day We then visit their classroom and give a presentation on how to help the earth by preventing waste especially waste related to lunch trash At the end of the presentation the class is challenged to have a litterless lunch week and each student is given a reusable cloth lunch bag One week later we return to check in with the class and see how their week went We do some math problems to show how even the smallest difference made by one person can add up to a huge reduction in the amount of trash we have and the amount of natural resources that we use The second lunch waste reduction project schools participate in is the Waste Free Lunch Contest Last year five schools competed to see which one could reduce their lunch waste by the biggest per capita percentage We recorded each school s lunch weight twice during a normal week and twice during a waste free week A student group at each school helped promote the project with posters announcements and short presentations to classes Each school significantly reduced their lunch trash one by more that 50 The winning school received 500 to spend on recycled office supplies Submitted by Kate Callander Eco Cycle School Program Staff FLORIDA Phillippi Shores Elementary in Sarasota Florida has been working hard to reduce lunch waste An article about their program can be found at www heraldtribune com apps pbcs dll article AID 20070418 NEWS 704180745 1 xml Parent Lynn Nilssen reports the children succeeded in reducing their total lunch waste by 36 Third grade had the least amount of waste per student at 17 lbs Fourth grade did the best in overall waste reduction they decreased their waste by 53 To make this possible they created a timeline and parent letter The school is still working out the kinks in the cafe to make it easier for collection of recyclables And Lynn is still working on finding a permanent source to take their compostable waste But it has been a great success In fact she s planning to meet with the science teacher and principal of a middle school as a first step in implementing waste free lunches there GEORGIA From Queen of Angels School in Roswell GA We have Waste Free Wednesdays at our school and try to honor those that are Waste Free Warriors One little kindergarten boy decided to make every day waste free This was recently sent to me from his parent when we asked if we could highlight his efforts on our morning school TV program Thank you for this wonderful recognition Our child will be thrilled He takes his waste free lunchbox very seriously For a while I kept trying to put in a yogurt for him on non Wednesdays and it kept coming home I finally asked him why he wasn t eating them and he told me it was because he didn t want to ever make trash at lunch So although we ve always been a Tupperware kind of family he s truly embraced your lessons at school In Roswell GA Camp Kingfisher s low impact lunch our version of waste free lunch program has been a major success Campers have 5 chances during the week to get their lunch checked off at our recycling center so they can write their name on the low impact lunch board About 20 60 kids generally participate that s 10 25 of our campers Every Friday at flag ceremony we recognize each camper whose name is on the board with a big applause It s quite cool to see how passionate campers and counselors get about conservation ILLINOIS At Plum Creek Nature Center in Joliet Illinois a work group was put in place to come up with a waste free lunch program for students that visit for on site programs The pilot program was introduced to students who visited in the fall of 2006 The program was mandatory for all schools and because it was the first time schools were introduced to this program a contest was included Their Forest Preserve District mascot is a very large woodchuck named Willy the Will County Woodchuck a Disney kind of creature so the name of the contest became Willy s Waste free Challenge The winners were the two classes one from the K 3 age group and one from the 4th grade and above group with the least amount of non recyclable non compostable lunch garbage Each winning class received a visit from Willy Woodchuck during Earth Week 2007 and each student received a waste free lunch kit Read more At Lincoln Elementary School in DeKalb Illinois Waste free lunches occur once a month Students bring their lunch boxes with containers that can be reused and not thrown away The class with the greatest percent of waste free lunches gets to house the H O P E trophy for that month Students who have participated in 5 out of 7 waste free lunches will be honored with a special certificate and ecology pencil during our April Awards Assembly The following seven success stories were submitted by Mary Allen Recycling and Education Director Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County SWANCC IL Go Mary Under the direction of environmental representative Ellen Forester Queen of the Rosary School in Elk Grove Village Illinois is seeing an upward climb in waste free lunch day participation The success of this trend is due to a combination of the following efforts reminding students the day prior to the event and sending a notice home to parents recording the participation level in each classroom and publishing the results in the school s weekly newsletter giving each student a reusable sandwich container which were purchased with SWANCC Waste Grant funds and allowing two classes with the greatest participation to have an out of uniform day as a reward Next month each teacher s participation will also be tallied and reported On a normal lunch day at Queen of the Rosary School approximately 50 pounds of waste is generated By implementing a waste free lunch day only 21 pounds of waste is generated With the help of PTA environmental representatives Suzanne Kirkwood and Debbie McGuire students at Whiteley School in Hoffman Estates Illinois produced and performed two informercials one that demonstrated how to have a waste free lunch and the other included two environmental rap songs to educate students and teachers about how to reduce waste in school The videos were shown to the entire school via classroom monitors Suzanne and Debbie felt that by involving the children in the process of making the videos participation would be higher On average about 75 of the students and teachers participated on waste free lunch day Lions Park School in Mount Prospect Illinois conducted a waste audit last year as part of SWANCC s Earth Flag Extension Program criteria Garbage was collected and weighed both on a regular lunch day and on a waste free lunch day On the regular lunch day 136 pounds of garbage was collected and on the waste free lunch day 87 pounds of garbage was collected By students and teachers making an effort to bring their lunch in reusable containers packing a cloth napkin and eating the food they brought forty nine less pounds of garbage was generated Prospect Illinois conducted a waste audit last year as part of SWANCC s Earth Flag Extension Program criteria Garbage was collected and weighed both on a regular lunch day and on a waste free lunch day On the regular lunch day 136 pounds of garbage was collected and on the waste free lunch day 87 pounds of garbage was collected By students and teachers making an effort to bring their lunch in reusable containers packing a cloth napkin and eating the food they brought forty nine less pounds of garbage was generated To promote waste free lunch days at Park View School in Morton Grove Illinois students designed a logo which was then printed on reusable lunch bags and sold at school and given to entering kindergarten students This program was sponsored in part from SWANCC waste grant funds Environmental representatives at Forest View School in Mount Prospect Illinois counted lunch room garbage by bags On a regular lunch day 19 bags were collected After a waste free lunch day only 2 bags of waste were generated PTA president Nancy Buckley at Washington School in Park Ridge Illinois used a combination of SWANCC s waste grant funds and school funds to purchase reusable lunch bags for each student The weight in brown paper bags used at the school decreased from five pounds to one and lunch room garbage was reduced from twenty five pounds to seven Lines School in Barrington Illinois collects an average of five trash cans of garbage during lunch each day Friday is designated as a waste free lunch day and on this day the garbage has decreased to three cans MAINE Marshwood Great Works School a 4 5 grade school with about 400 students in South Berwick Maine is cutting back on lunch waste by providing their milk cartons and daily food waste to a local compost farmer They ve also switched from disposable plastic utensils to reusable flatware and they re using compostable sugar cane bowls for the salad bar instead of plastic The program has been so successful that three other schools in the district have joined in and are saving money along with the earth MINNESOTA Stowe Elementary School in Duluth Minnesota instituted a waste reduction program that focused on the cafeteria They switched from disposables to reusables started to separate recyclables increased food ordering accuracy and set up a vermiculture project worm bins to compost food waste Minnesota Waste Wise partnered with School District 196 in Dakota County Minnesota to set up a school composting program Shannon Park Elementary participated in a collabrative effort to compost for a better enviroment Dakota Hills Middle School used signs creatively to enhance student organization and participation Eastview High School developed signs and labels for compost containers to educate students and improve already high student involvement in the composting project Audubon Center of the North Woods a residential environmental education center hosts school groups for 2 nights and 3 days At the first meal students are introduced to the concept of ORT the use of energy in the production and transportation of food and the waste that is left behind once the food has been eaten The staff talks to the kids in the dining room about these issues and how the center either composts all the food waste or gives it to a nearby farmer who feeds it to the pigs another form of recycling The children are then shown the graph for their school After each meal the students scrape any leftovers into separate buckets Meat is not composted or fed to the pigs The contents of the buckets are weighed and the results for each meal usually 7 meals are recorded on a chart The students are then challenged to reduce their waste by taking smaller amounts when they go through the line the first time Seconds are always available and if they re unfamiliar with a food they re encouraged to start with a small amount This is a great learning experience which inevitably leads to a reduction in food waste For some schools the activity becomes very competitive with students wanting to do better than the school that was there before them or boys doing better than girls The center doesn t encourage competition but it seems to be a natural reaction for many kids Some classes take the results back to school to show other students especially younger students who may participate the following year Most participants in the program are 5 6th graders but programs for children of all ages are available The feedback from teachers and parents is very positive The children are encouraged to talk about these ideas when they go home The center also offers adult programs They learn about the ORT program but the issue of food waste is discussed rather than demonstrated through the weighing of food waste For more information contact Audubon Center of the North Woods P O Box 530 Sandstone MN 55072 320 245 2648 www audubon center org The word ort means a scrap of food leftover when an animal or person eats NEBRASKA Nancy Meyer of Wahoo Elementary School in Wahoo Nebraska has provided us with in depth information on how to hold a recycled art contest She s included a description of the project a list of likely expenses and a list of local materials collection sites Thanks Nancy For more information click here Kim Snyder a Wahoo High School English teacher implemented a paper recycling program at Region V schools She and her team placed specially marked recycle bins in each classroom for paper recycling Twice a week the Region V workers pick up the paper from all three public schools and send it to their paper vendor in Omaha Firstar Fiber Firstar turns it into toilet paper called Kick Butt The kids at school love the name and the fact that their homework gets turned into toilet paper NORTH CAROLINA The following story was submitted by Lois Nixon Certified Environmental Educator Director Wake County Keep America Beautiful Our Wake County Environmental Network began providing waste free lunches for our High School Environmental Career Day nine years ago During the day we refer often to the waste free lunch concept The lunch is served buffet style on rattan plates with cloth napkins that we reuse each year The meal generally consists of 6 foot sub sandwiches buy in quantity rather than individually

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  • Waste-free Lunches - A Case Study
    School was extremely supportive and optimistic He put the parents in touch with like minded faculty and set the wheels in motion Two days later parents and staff were invited to a meeting to discuss the possibility of starting a waste free lunch program and we were on our way Getting Started We decided during our first meeting that we wanted to be a group of do ers We did not want to just sit around discussing ideas To this end we designed a simple goal sheet so that we could better define our goals and a task sheet so we could delegate various responsibilities We also put together a telephone and email list so that members of the group could communicate with one another To integrate these we chose one person to be our group communicator who would send out meeting reminders and summaries Finally we defined the scope of our project and choose one member to communicate with the rest of the school community parents teachers staff and students Defining the Scope of the Program We held our first meeting in early March 2002 At that time we set a short term goal of putting together a week long waste free lunch program to coincide with Earth Week April 22 26 Our long term goal was to implement a full fledged waste free lunch program to begin in September 2002 For Earth Week our major area of focus would be on lunches brought from home We would use the summer months to research hot lunch alternatives and our hope for September was to focus our attention on reducing waste resulting not only from lunches brought from home but also from the hot lunch program If you re planning to implement a waste free lunch program you will need

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  • Waste-free Lunches - Schools
    love to add more research topics to this page If you re involved in relevant research that you d like us to post please send it to us at info wastefreelunches org Thanks Implementing a Waste free Lunch Program Complete instructions for implementing a waste free lunch program can be found at www laptoplunches com GreenTeacher2004 html It takes a few minutes to load so please be patient If you re looking for an article describing the state of the waste free lunch movement visit www wastefreelunches org SchoolsReduceWaste html Other Research David Darlington of Environmental Education for Kids EEK conducted a waste free lunch pilot program at Marylin Avenue Elementary School The project was funded by the City of Livermore CA Waste free lunch kits were distributed to thirty students in a single class Families were encouraged to pack waste free lunches as often as possible Click here to see their results California Integrated Waste Management Board compiled statistics on school savings resulting from waste reductions programs Click here to see a summary of their results For more details and descriptions of additional programs visit their Web site at http www ciwmb ca gov Schools WasteReduce Models Districts htm

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  • Waste-free Lunches
    below and click Send this URL Waste free Lunch Kits Bentology and Laptop Lunches are designed specifically with waste free lunches in mind Whether you re looking for a complete waste free kit a bento set a refillable drink bottle reusable utensils or cloth napkins be sure to check out bentology net for a wide selection of colors and configurations plus same day shipping Looking for volume discounts or affiliate

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  • Waste-free Lunches - Resources
    list of resources that help promote waste free lunches in schools organizations and communities Please let us know if you know of additional resources that would be of benefit to others Waste free Lunch Slide Show Use one of these two free downloadable slide shows at your next waste free lunch event Simply download the one you want to use double click to open it and it will scroll through each slide and loop back through continuously until you press the Escape key Waste free Lunches 2 73 MB This slide show covers the following topics All About Typical Lunches and Lunch Packaging Where Our Lunch Waste Goes Tips for Packing a Waste free Lunch Other Earth friendly Lunch Tips General Lunchmaking Tips Nutritious Sandwiches Sandwich Fillings Sandwich Spreads Sandwich Alternatives Nutritious Fruits Delicious Vegetables Tips for Streamlining Your Lunchmaking Routine 11 Inspirational Lunch Ideas Prepackaged Processed Food Items About Wastefreelunches org Inspirational Lunch Menus 2 46 MB This slide show covers the following topics All About Typical Lunches and Lunch Packaging Where Our Lunch Waste Goes Tips for Packing a Waste free Lunch Other Earth friendly Lunch Tips General Lunchmaking Tips 27 Inspirational Lunch Ideas About Wastefreelunches org Waste

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