Be a garbage hero: pack a no waste lunch

My sister's children taught me a new phrase, “no waste lunches,” in discussing how Ruffing Montessori School is quite green –featuring lunches that are entirely consumed or composted.

I’m not an eco-freak, but this is clearly a good, easy green-action you can offer the world.

After monitoring lunch at my children’s school, I got fired up and starting reading. According to, a website about recycling and early education, every kid throws out 4-8 ounces of garbage everyday at lunch (that adds up to about 100 pounds of garbage per kid, per year). That is a LOT of garbage!

Let me repeat: I’m not an eco-freak – but we should TRY to minimize garbage. And while we're at it, we should teach our kids to try, too. "No waste lunches" reduce harm toward the planet – kid by kid, lunch by lunch.

Look, time is valuable and sometimes we buy in to that highly marketed concept, "convenience." But a "no waste lunch” is a very simple way to help the planet and it doesn’t take any more time to prepare:

  • Use a lunch box or reusable sack (a Japanese bento),
  • Pack a cloth napkin and reusable utensils, and
  • Use reusable food and drink containers (buy in bulk, it’s less expensive).

If you do this for a year, you’ve saved the planet about 100 pounds of garbage. I would have to call that eco-cool. Just try it. And, get your kids involved. They'll have fun with garbage-saving challenges.

There's nothing eco-freaky about considering your children's future!

Lisa M. Flaherty, Ph.D. attended Fairfax in her youth and now works as a communications consultant for American Greetings.

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Volume 2, Issue 1, Posted 8:47 AM, 12.12.2008