Posts Tagged ‘sustainable packaging’

Sustainable We

Family Project 2018: Trash Wars – The Fight to End Single-Use Plastic

Small garbage can.  Doesn’t seem like much of a problem, right? But then the enemies start swarming in from a family of four: plastic straws, bags, spoons, you name it. Used once and tossed in a landfill feeder  that only happens to hold about 2 full kitchen bags

and a few smaller bags for the week.

We could spend more and get a bigger can from the city. OR we could change our habits now and make less grody garbage permanently.  Get in line, troops, your lunch is about to go green.

Battle 1: Lunch

Turns out (new parent spoiler alert):

4 PEOPLE MAKE A TON OF GARBAGE.

Seriously, even the little one. She throws stuff out like a champ.  She uses bandaids for like 15 minutes each.  She breaks stuff just to make the automatic garbage open its jaws on her command. She even purposefully (maybe) refused cloth diapers just to up her landfill game.  I say No Way, Baby.  To be fair, she would be perfectly fine keeping all the garbage actually inside the house and making art with it or something.

So, anyway, project Sustainable We was born. We talked a bunch about garbage and how long it stays around and how trash on the ground can get into the ocean and hurt animals and such.  Kids are on board to save turtles. We are a go.

The first single-use plastic I had to consider was the plastic zip snack/sandwich bag. This actually began organically when big sis went to kinder last year and we needed lunch solutions.  She is a picky eater who would rather not eat than eat something listed in her ever-changing bible of “Gross Stuff Mom Tries to Force-feed Me That Maybe Qualifies As Torture”. I had to try a variety of snack options to get her fueled for the day and some were wet and couldn’t touch others and there were days where I threw away more food than she consumed.

Ultimately, our plastic zippy baggy replacement system included the following:

Lunchbots stainless steel bento box

lunchbot

Love this little darling.  Fits just enough for my kids and gives the ability for some separation. Dishwasher top rack safe, easy to open and close and stays cool with an ice pack. Plus cute colors = Winning.

The only drawback is that the two sides are not completely airtight from each other, so I still needed a way to house the small veggies that had some moisture like carrots and snap-peas hastily washed in the dark pre-mornings.

Voila! Silicone muffin cups!

lsiliconemuffincups

Bonus: Can also be used for playing shell games after lunch.

They fit perfectly in both sides of the bento box, allowing me to recreate the much-desired-but-seldom-purchased crown jewel of single use lunches: the Lunchable.

One for crackers, one for ham or turkey, one for veggies and one for an oreo or two. I can even fit a baby cheese in there, too. Mom for the win.

BUT…

These are the lunch solution and there was still a critical problem: snack time <insert horrified face emoji>

Snack time was the real culprit of snack bags, hence the sneaky snacky cute little plastic half-bags with Elsa and BB-8 on them luring my half-people down the landfill well.  Seriously, the magic seal is like the pied piper of garbage.  Go ahead and use me only once, it sings. I will get crumbs in me and you can’t ever get me dry again even if you dare to wash me out. Tra-la-la.

NO! GO BACK! I say. GO BACK TO YOUR CONVENIENT BOX, YOU LUNCH BALROG!

And then I got these adorabchicobag.jpgle little snack bags:

ChicoBag Snack Time!

Every time time I unfurl their little two-inch of velcro I feel like Captain America. These bags are made of rePETE food-safe material, adjustable to fit a sandwich, adorable to fit your lunch style and pretty easy to wash. I hand wash to avoid velcro sucking the life out of unsorted laundry loads, but I don’t find it a bother. The biggest learning curve was teaching my kids to NOT THROW THEM AWAY! Fortunately they only had to pick through one yucky garbage bag to learn that one.

These bags are the ultimate weapon in the fight against single-plastic snacktime. Arm yourselves.

So the price breakdown:

Bento box $25

Muffin Cups $6.99

Snack Bags $14.99

Sustainable lunch = priceless.

Well, actually the supplies ran about $46.97, but if not using plastic saves even one turtle life than it’s worth every penny.

 

Advertisements

Printalicious is here!

Back in the beginning of June, I heard of an exciting event in the cloth diapering community called Printalicious from one of my favorite diapering blogs, All About Cloth Diapers.  The company Applecheeks was revealing it’s new diaper prints.  I had never heard of Applecheeks at the time, but in my new hobby of cloth diapering, I found myself excited anyway.

It was a month of firsts for me and my cloth diapering journey.  It was the first time I participated in a live web chat, where the creators of Applecheeks explained their diapers, the new prints and gave away a ton of really great prizes.  It was the first time I actually pre-ordered a diaper, just like I used to pre-order concert tickets in my 20s.  It was also the first time I finally admitted to being a cloth diaper junkie, something I never thought I would say only six months ago!

Delish…straight from the orchard

The Applecheeks company is owned by two likable moms, Ilana and Amy, who were super sweet and sincere in the live webchat.  I liked them, and I liked the idea of their product, a trim-fitting pocket diaper that unstuffs itself in the wash – genius.  I also loved the two new prints, Delicious, which is as yummy as an apple pie, and Wild Child, which is like an adorable box of animal crackers.  Both of them are cute in design and unisex in colors.  I love prints, but I’m picky.  I’ve seen many Blah prints out there, and I’ve also bought diapers solely because I love the print.  I had to have one of these, however.  I would have liked both, but I really fell in love with Delicious with it’s blue and green apple-logo design.  It matched perfectly with the brand new Hello Kitty Apple-a-day Babylegs I had just bought Nika!  And anyway, I love apples.  Perfect apple goodness.

I was excited to try it.  Two things are the bane of  my diapering existence right now – laundry tabs and unstuffing.  In fact, I never unstuffed a diaper for the first few months when they were on small settings with minimal stuffing.  I rarely had a problem with a diaper not unstuffing itself in the pre-rinse cycle.  Once the REAL diapering commenced and my girl started heavy wetting, however, that was no longer the case.  It’s not the end of the world, but there are times that unstuffing a poopfest is pretty nasty, and she hasn’t even started solid foods yet.

Bring out your wild side

So, Delicious has now been in rotation for about one and a half months and I’m happy to report that it has always unstuffed, even when filled with night-capacity stuffing.  It has also never leaked, making it a great night option, though it is so cute that I hate using it for nighttime.  I’ve actually gotten compliments on how cute it is!  It is still in that ‘new pocket’ phase, so I can’t be sure it will never need stripping, but so far so good.  It is also so soft and very trim, which is actually my favorite characteristic.  I sized up because Nika was in between the two offered sizes, but now at 18 pounds she fits in the diaper without much excess and I can actually fit her into age-appropriate clothes.  With my other pockets, I often have to put her in sized-up clothes because of the bulk.

I also noticed that the diaper came in an envelope marked EcoEnclose.  Curious, I looked up the company.  It provides compostable mailing supplies.  Their mailers and bubble-mailers are made from polyehtylene plastic that is treated in order to break down into humus during composting, or even in a landfill, in 9-60 months.  They also provide 100% recycled boxes and packaging.  I am still too wary to put it into my own compost, but am glad to know it will degrade even in a landfill and I’m happy to see some companies tackling the unsustainable shipping-waste issue.  The prices aren’t bad, either.  The mailers start at 16 cents each and even after shipping are still one-quarter the price of the post office supplies that I buy.  It’s a good way to vote with your dollar and support a sustainable business practice if you ship things often.