The Laptop Lunch Times

January 2005

Happy New Year!

We hope you had a wonderful holiday season and that you succeeded in starting some new "green" traditions this year.

In this issue you'll find some delicious bread recipes to help keep you "toasty" this month. (Sorry, we just couldn't resist!) We've also included some valuable shopping strategies and tips for improving your "green" office read on!

Amy and Tammy

In this issue, you'll find:

  • Hearty Breads

  • Green Opportunities
  • Greening Your Home Office
  • Featured Web site:
  • What works...Success Stories
Laptop Lunch Photo with Food

Hearty Breads

If you're tired of making sandwiches with the same old loaf, try these delicious alternatives. Get the kids involved too. There's nothing like a little stirring, kneading, and dough punching when you're spending a lot of time indoors.

#1: Spice Bread

  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup apple or orange juice
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Butter or spray with vegetable oil 2 large (9" x 5") loaf pans.
3. Beat eggs until light.
4. Add sugar, juice, zucchini, carrots and vanilla, and mix well.
5. Mix the dry ingredients together.
6. Combine wet and dry ingredients with a few swift strokes.
7. Add nuts and stir.
8. Spoon into bread pans and bake for approximately 1 hour.
9. Remove from the pans and cool on racks.


#2: Whole Wheat Bread

  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 packets dry yeast
  • cup honey
  • 7-8 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbs oil
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten

1. Dissolve the yeast in the water and let stand for 5 minutes.
2. Add honey to the yeast mixture and stir.
3. Add the oil, salt, and eggs, and stir again.
4. Measure 7 cups of flour into a deep bowl, and make a well.
5. Pour the yeast mixture into the well and let sit for 15 minutes.
6. Slowly stir the flour into the wet mixture, leaving the sides intact.
7. Turn the dough onto a floured board and knead for about 10 minutes, adding flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to the board.
8. Let rise for one hour until doubled in size.
9. Punch down, knead for 10 minutes and let rise for one hour until doubled in size.
10. Divide the dough in half and form each piece into a lightly oiled bread pan.
11. Let rise for 20 minutes.
12. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour.
13. Remove from pans and cool on a rack.


Green Opportunities

Some earth-friendly tidbits that have landed in our office in recent weeks...

  • The Portion Distortion Web site,, put together by The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, shows how portion sizes have changed over the past 20 years, and how much physical activity is required to burn the extra calories. This new site includes an interactive quiz, a list of foods that may contain more calories than you expect, sample menus, and materials for health educators. It also compares "standard servings" (as defined by the USDA) with "portions" (defined by the person doing the eating), and a card to help us remember what a standard serving of specific foods actually looks like.

  • Seafood Watch has launched two new informative sections at for seafood businesses, and educators & partners. These two new sections offer: online training modules; resources to help purveyors source sustainable seafood; point-of-sale displays; and quick reference fact cards covering key fish, fishing gear and aquaculture issues. The Restaurant and Retailer Section can be found at To see the Educators & Partners Section, visit .

  • Listed by the American Library Association as one of the best online resources for kids, The Imagination Factory at shows visitors how to make art using materials most people throw away. Some of the activities include drawing, painting, sculpture, collage, papier-mâché, marbling and crafts, and holiday art. A Trash Matcher helps visitors find appropriate art activities for the solid waste they have available, and a feature called the Badge Matcher allows Brownies, Girl Scouts and their leaders to quickly locate art activities that help satisfy badge requirements. Recently added is the Project Matcher, which is designed to match many of the site's activities with 4-H projects and those carried out for school social studies and science fairs. Trashasaurus Rex, a giant dinosaur made of solid waste, heads the site's Public Relations Department, and there are numerous links to other art and environmental sites in the Research and Development Department. A discussion of landfills is located in the Education Department, and it's linked to Trash a Pizza, an activity showing visitors how to make a papier-mâché model of a pizza with solid waste toppings. The pizza is divided into nine segments or categories, and the toppings or trash are reflective of the composition of American landfills.

  • If you're looking for step-by-step instructions for starting a waste-free lunch program at your school, consider subscribing to Green Teacher Magazine, and make sure you receive the Fall 2004 issue.

  • Non-profit E Magazine contains valuable information and in-depth stories on all aspects related to the environment. For a free trial , click here.

Greening Your Home Office

The start of the new year is a perfect time for organizing the home office. Start by filing away or recycling loose documents and cleaning out desk drawers. Instead of "throwing out the old and bringing in the new," try "recycling the old and reducing the new." See if you can find ways to incorporate some of the following "greening office" tips this year.

CREATE A PAPER REUSE TRAY. Use a salvaged cardboard box as a paper reuse tray for paper that has printing on only one side. Use this paper in printers and fax machines for rough drafts and in-house documents. Cut pages into smaller sheets for memos or leave them whole for scratch paper. NOTE: Don't forget to exclude all confidential material!

RECYCLE YOUR PRINTER CARTRIDGES. Visit to learn about opportunities for recycling printer cartridges and cell phones while earning money for your school or organization. The cartridges are sold to remanufacturers, and the cell phones are either reused or taken apart for recycling. Several leading cartridge manufacturers encourage customers to return used cartridges as well, but before doing so, be sure to ask specific questions about what happens to them. In particular, confirm that they are reused or refurbished and not incinerated. (Some printer companies consider incineration to be a form of recycling.)

BUY REMANUFACTURED PRINTER CARTRIDGES. The use of remanufactured printer cartridges reduces the number of overall cartridges being produced and subsequently sent to landfills. There are a few companies that now specialize in remanufactured printer cartridges. One company can be found at Check the Web for others.

PRINT DOCUMENTS IN DRAFT MODE. By setting your computer to print in draft mode you can cut down on the number of printer cartridges you use. (If you're using a PC, select print, click on properties, paper/quality and select draft.)

BUY PAPER PRODUCTS WITH POST-CONSUMER RECYCLED CONTENT. Purchase certified recycled content paper with a high percentage of post-consumer content. Avoid chlorine- bleached paper. (Remember this when purchasing toilet paper, paper towels, and shipping materials.)

REDUCE PAPER USE. Reduce your paper use by practicing double-sided photocopying. Format your documents for efficient paper use by decreasing font size, and minimizing margins and other white space. Collect and reuse paper that has printing on one side only and add it to your paper reuse tray.

REUSE FILE FOLDERS, ENVELOPES, AND SHIPPING BOXES. To reuse envelopes, place a label (water-based glue) over the old address. Use labels on previously used file folders as well. Instead of purchasing memo pads, make your own by cutting paper from your Paper Reuse Tray into quarters and stapling or clipping together. Use salvaged shipping boxes whenever possible.

SWITCH TO COMPACT FLUORESCENT BULBS. Using compact florescent bulbs (CFLs) to light your home office will use 66% less energy than incandescent bulbs. Keep in mind that not all florescent bulbs give off a bright white light; warm light tones are now available.

TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER WHEN NOT IN USE. According to the Energy Star program, activating the sleep setting on just one computer can prevent about 300 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

RECYCLE YOUR ELECTRONICS EQUIPMENT. E-waste is made up of electronic components, including personal computers, integrated circuit boards, computer peripherals and components, monitors, cabling, cellular phones, audio and video equipment, and televisions. Donate your used electronics in working condition, to a school or non-profit in your area. If you cannot find an organization that will accept your equipment, visit or for a list of non-profit organizations that accept used equipment. Dell Computers also offers recycling opportunities from time to time. Visit their site at for more information.

IMPROVE INDOOR AIR QUALITY. Office equipment, internal building surfaces, fabrics and furniture all emit indoor pollutants. Improve indoor air quality by keeping plants in your office. Plants not only filter pollutants from indoor air, but release oxygen and increase relative humidity. If possible (and weather permitting) open windows instead of using heaters and air-conditioners.

PURCHASE SUSTAINABLE OFFICE FURNITURE. If you're in the market for office furniture, check out the yellow pages for companies that specialize in used office furniture. Or, if you require new furniture, visit, one green office furniture manufacturer. They are known for their panels and table tops made from sunflower seed hulls, wheat straw, recycled newspaper and plastics recovered from milk cartons. They use sustainable natural materials that contain no harmful adhesives, formaldehydes or VOC's.

BUY ENERGY EFFICIENT OFFICE EQUIPMENT. When purchasing office equipment, look for the EPA's Energy Star label, indicating that the equipment uses less energy than standard models. According to the EPA, a home office with all Energy Star equipment can save enough electricity to light the entire home for more than four years.

What Works...Success Stories

  • "I LOVE your laptop lunch product and think it is innovative, economical, convenient ...I could go on, but most importantly it encourages parents to pack a healthy, diverse lunch in an appealing way to encourage little ones to eat it!"

       -- Colleen Nelson , Tequesta, FL

  • "I am so glad I found your Web site and ordered a Laptop Lunch! At first I thought they were a little bit expensive for my budget, but it definitely keeps me on my diet, so it's well worth it. The containers are just the right size, and the user's guide has great ideas for what to put in them. Keep up the good work!"

       -- Anonymous, Houston, TX

  • Laptop Lunches ARE for princesses too!

    Laptop Lunch hugs !

Do you have a success story or photo to share? Email it to us at [email protected].

Featured Web Site:


Find out what pesticides are in your food and how you can eliminate pests without using pesticides at

PAN's Pesticide Database at provides complete pesticide toxicity and regulatory information.

The PAN Pesticide Advisor is a one-stop guide to online information to help you with pest and pesticide problems.


PANNA (Pesticide Action Network North America) works to replace pesticide use with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives. As one of five PAN Regional Centers worldwide, they link local and international consumer, labor, health, environment and agriculture groups into an international citizens' action network. This network challenges the global proliferation of pesticides, defends basic rights to health and environmental quality, and works to ensure the transition to a just and viable society.


February Highlights

Winter casseroles, green opportunities, and salvaged art creations!

Comments, questions, concerns? Please email us at [email protected].

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January 2005, by Obentec, Inc.


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