10 07/18/2012 life Green Living

That Time I Packed My Kid’s Lunch In a Wine Bag.

I got this email a few days ago from Madame’s camp people, saying they were making a trip to the pool, hats, sunscreen, blah, blah, blabbity-blah, and could you please send a brown bag lunch with nothing to be reheated… no containers… basically, they want to throw everything away at the end and just come back with the children.
I get it – this makes life easier for everyone. For everyone except ME.
When Oliver started kindergarten three years ago, we learned his school has a low-waste programme for lunches and whatnot. This is a good thing. They encourage you to send reusable food and drink containers, in an effort to cut down on the amount of refuse that overflows the trash bins. Hundreds of kids. Every day. Yes, we can all agree that makes for a lot of garbage!
He’d get a little card sent home with him every few weeks, with either happy faces or sad faces, indicated on the days when he either excelled or failed within the confines of his little lunch box. Believe me when I tell you the shame of the sad faces sent me running to the store for refillable drink containers and Tupperware-like-thingies in every size you can think of.
Since then I’ve not bought juice boxes at all (save for birthday parties) and I rarely even use those snack-sized Ziploc baggies – we’ve got mini containers for eight-to-ten grapes or a scant handful of goldfish crackers. Nevermind all that extra washing, we are SAVING the PLANET, yo!
So, imagine my borderline panic chagrin when I received said email, as I’ve got no lunch-sized brown bags anywhere, nor is there a juice box to be found on the premesis (I had to beg one off a neighbour) and exactly what will I put these baby carrots in?
Just as I was considering sticking a cold chicken drumstick in the child’s pocket, I remembered I had some paper sacs from the grocery store – I sometimes get in line with a checkout lady who has a penchant for putting extra bags on everything. Sure… the meats I understand (you don’t want those “drippings” touching all your other stuff), and I get it when it comes to detergents and things… you don’t want those touching your meats! But this woman would probably wrap every single egg, if she could. Extra bags all over the place. She loves slipping any glass containers into tall paper bags. It’s like she’s packing everything for a long sea voyage, or something.
And it’s a lucky thing that she does! Thanks to a few jars of salsa I just purchased, I now have long, slim brown paper bags with the tell tale grapes logo on the front. So everyone can think my child’s mum is a wino. Well, at least a wino who RECYCLES! And the irony here? I only use reuseable bags at the wine store – they don’t even give you bags anymore. (It’s not a bad policy though, right?)
Wherever and whenever you can… Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
End note: The only thing worse than this bag would be sending lunch in a lingerie store bag. No one needs to unwrap a sandwich straight out of a pink bag with the words Intimate Moments scrawled across it. Plus, it would only make people wonder what kind of dessert might lie within… cherry pie, perhaps?
Do you pack litterless lunches? Smiley faces for you, if you do…  🙂
  • Tracey

    *snorts* That’s me alright!! (It so totally is though, shhhhhh…)

  • Kim

    lol “wino mom”

  • Tracey

    Uch. That’s bad. Do you have labels on your stuff? We’re supposed to label our things, so that helps when items go astray…
    Anyway, it’s still better than adding to the garbage heap, I reckon. 😉

  • Tracey

    Well, at least you can make sure their empty juice boxes get into the recycling bin – that’s a good thing, at least! We have some of these by Rubbermaid – actually, it’s time to replace them now. I think they cost about $2.75 each… I throw the spouts and straws in some bleach once in a while.
    “Forced organization.” Yes!

  • Maria

    The only part I really hate is my son is always losing lids & leaving containers at school so I’m always running out buying new ones…it gets annoying!

  • Christine

    We have litterless lunches at our school as well. I don’t mind it so much. Each kid has their own colour of lunch containers. Each has a sandwich container and 4 snack containers and a thermos. I don’t mind and its almost like forced organization, so long as all the containers are clean when they need to be refilled.
    The one thing I do hate is that my kids bring their empty juice boxes and granola bar wrappers home because they don’t want to “litter” at school.

  • Tracey

    I hate the scramble. Hate. One day, they’ll make their OWN lunches!

  • Tracey

    And this place? They want the snack in a separate bag, clearly labelled as “snack”. I’m like, “Whatever is left over from lunch? Is the snack.” I mean, really. Are you gonna let her eat the granola bar first?! #toomanybags

  • Alice

    Our school has a litterless lunch policy, but fortunatley so far, Girl 8 only stays a couple of days a week when she had choir and clubs, and goes back to daycare for hot lunch the other days. After this year, though, we’ll have to get better at the lunch thing. It’s always a scramble to find something that works!

  • Chantel

    OH I hate these lunch days because as much as I believe in saving the planet and all it is so hard! Anyways I am with you – nothing wrong with a wine bag lol!

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