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February 2008

Laptop Lunch Times:February 2008

February 2008

In this issue, you'll find:

  • From Our Desk to Yours...
  • Favorite Photo
  • A Lunch for your Valentine
  • Green Opportunities
  • Laptop Lunches in the News
  • New Retailers
  • The Compost Club: A Lesson in Closing the Loop
  • What works...Success Stories
  • Featured Web site:

From Our Desk to Yours...

TRAVEL FLASK: We're pleased to announce a brand new travel flask in all stainless! Same great design. New sleek look. Take a peek at
Obentec Travel Flask

NEWS FROM THE UK: Laptop Lunches UK has just launched a new Web site, Becky and Lolo, at In addition to Laptop Lunches, they are now offering a large range of unique gifts, many of them new to England and exclusive to their Web site. Their Web store centers around children’s tableware and bedroom decor and includes a wide range of melamine items for little ones, ceramic and porcelain dinnerware for bigger kids, and some adorable handcrafted cutlery full of character.

PHOTO CONTEST: A big thank you to those who have submitted photos for our exciting new project! We are in the process of looking through them all and will be contacting the winners shortly. You are truly amazing!

EXTRA MISC CONTAINERS STILL AVAILABLE: We still have some medium and large unlidded containers available for 50 cents each, plus shipping. For more information, visit or call us at 831-457-0301. These are available in a limited number of colors while supplies last. PLEASE NOTE THAT WE DO NOT HAVE ANY INDIVIDUAL LARGE LIDDED CONTAINERS OR DIP CONTAINERS AVAILABLE.

Amy and Tammy

Got a favorite photo to share?

Email it to us at [email protected], and we'll publish it here!

Salami, Cheese, Strawberries, Rice Cracker Mix, Steamed Sweet Potatoes

  • Fresh Strawberries
  • Rice Cracker Mix
  • Cheese
  • Salami
  • Steamed Sweet Potatoes

"My son is a creature of habit. He loves to open up the top and see his favorites looking back at him. It's so easy for me as well. On those brain-foggy mornings, all I have to do is make sure each box is full--a protein, a grain/nut, a veggie and a fruit--and I'm done. I am sure he is the only kid at the school who eats sweet potatoes at lunch, and most likely the only kid using a cloth napkin too."

"I found out about the Laptop Lunch system while researching a GFCF (gluten-free casein-free) diet for my 5th grade son, who has been in private school or home-schooled until this year. The idea of having him on a GFCF diet and eating in a public school cafeteria was very scary. I didn't think it would work. But with Laptop Lunches, it does!!!

"Living on one income, I didn't want to pay so much for a lunch box. I thought I could just make do with the cheaper plastic containers (that often needed replacing due to lost lids...) Then I saw the Laptop Lunch System at Whole Foods Market in West Hartford CT--in the flesh, not on my computer screen. I put it in my cart and looked at it the whole time I shopped. It went home with us and we are so thankful!

"I took an old tablecloth and turned it into a zillion napkins to complete the package. My son has never complained about not getting the junk the other kids eat.

"Due to fine motor problems, my son has had difficulty opening container lids, which left me with messy lunchboxes to clean up, but not anymore.

"I wish Laptop Lunches were the staple of every school, public or private, allergy or not! I will continue to spread the word! I'm also going to pass your information on to our local market with the hope that they will consider selling them. Seeing them in the flesh makes a huge difference.

"Thanks for all the effort you put into the boxes. The heart you have invested is definitely noticeable."

        -- Adrienne Reault, South Windsor, CT

A Lunch for your Valentine

Avoid the temptation to provide your loved ones with excessively sugary treats this Valentine's Day. Instead, show how much you care by packing a lunch that will nurture the body as well as the soul. Here's one nutritious option to consider.

Raspberry and Kiwi Medley

Steamed Edamame (Soy Beans)

Omelette Hearts

  • Beat two eggs.
  • Add 1 Tbs milk, soy milk, or water.
  • Beat until smooth.
  • Heat 1/2 tsp butter or oil in a fry pan.
  • Add the egg mixture and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Cover until the egg is no longer runny.
  • Flip and heat for just 20 seconds on the other side. Remove from pan and let cool.
  • Cut with a heart-shaped cookie cutter.

"I Love You" Fries

  • Bake a potato until cooked through but not mushy.
  • Slice it into 1/4-inch rounds and cut each slice with a heart-shaped cookie cutter.
  • Pour a small amount of olive oil in a frying pan, and heat.
  • Place the potatoes in the pan, season with salt, pepper, paprika, and dehydrated garlic.
  • Cook on both sides until slightly crispy.
  • Serve plain or with ketchup.

Healthy Valentine's Day Ideas

NEW black and red bento sets now available online:


Valentine's Day Tip

If you want to pack your lunch in red and pink, use your pink outer container with the red inner containers from your black and red set. Very cool!.

Valentine Bento Box

Green Opportunities

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

  • WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR BODY WITHIN AN HOUR OF DRINKING A COKE? – The average American drinks more than 60 gallons of soft drinks each year, but before you grab that next can of soda, consider this: one can of soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar, 150 calories, 30 to 55 mg of caffeine, and is loaded with artificial food colors and sulphites. Not to mention the fact that it’s also your largest source of dangerous high-fructose modified corn syrup. Visit to find out what happens to your body in that first hour.

  • SEAFOOD WATCH UPDATE – Take the Seafood Watch Challenge! Pass out 10 pocket guides this month to friends and family and help the Monterey Bay Aquarium spread the word about ocean-friendly seafood. Or consider ordering a Seafood Watch Advocate kit to help train others, including the restaurants and grocery stores in your neighborhood.

safe, sustainable, seafood

  • THE SECRET LIFE OF STUFF – Ever wonder what happens when we toss old cell phones in the trash? What happens to the newspapers we read and the t-shirts we wear? INFORM’s Secret Life Series is a collection of videos that highlight the environmental impacts of everyday products from beginning to end. Check out their Web site at

  • HAVE AN EARTH-FRIENDLY VALENTINE'S DAY – When it comes to chocolate and flowers, Valentine's Day is the biggest shopping day of the year, so it's a great time to purchase organic and Fair Trade chocolate and flowers If you're looking for options that do not rely on toxic pesticides, child slavery, and farm worker exploitation, check out the Organic Consumers Association's Valentine's Day buying guide at or the Greener Choices list of sustainable chocolate and flowers at

Fair Trade Valentine

Laptop Lunches in the News


Stuff We Love

School lunch waste has a huge environmental impact: The average American school-age child throws away 67 pounds of packaging per year, including plastic water bottles, sandwich baggies, molded food containers, and juice boxes. The eco-friendly boxes by Laptop Lunches can cut that trash heap down to size: They're reusable, recyclable and dishwasher-safe; plus they come in a range of colors, to avoid morning mix-ups. Each box also comes with a book full of healthy lunch ideas and recipes for those of us who grow weary of the same old PB and J. $20.99 for the set, including outer box, inner containers and utensils, at

Laptop Lunch Bento Set

New Retailers

Cal Mart
1491 Lincoln Ave
Calistoga, CA 94515
(707) 942-6271
Elephant Ears
407 N. Fifth Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 622-9580

1199 Walnut Street
Newton, MA 02461
(617) 965-6505

Gumboot Books
604-980 Seymour Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 1B5
(604) 669-4866
Skagit Valley Food Co-op
202 S. First Street
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
(360) 336-9777

Hopskotch Kids
1129A Garden Street
San Luis Obispo, CA  93401   
(805) 471-5219

55 Walnut Street
Norwood, NJ 07452
(201) 767-1961

Sprout Children's Clothing
177 Healdsburg Ave
Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 433-7355
Green Cradle
13344 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 728-4305

Generation Orange
(866) 309-6188

Little Star Creative Parties
(805) 729-3777

Visit for a complete list of retailers.

Want to see Laptop Lunches at a store in your neighborhood? Email us at [email protected], and we'll give them a call.

The Compost Club: A Lesson in Closing the Loop

More and more Americans are starting to feel the pain associated with shrinking landfill space and higher disposal fees. In Sonoma County, CA, for example, where concern over environmental liability resulted in the closure of their sole landfill in 2005, trash is being trucked to landfills in neighboring counties at a much higher cost to both residents and businesses.

The good news is that this unfortunate event has highlighted the need for previously established programs aimed at reducing, reusing, recycling...and rotting.  Enter the Compost Club.

The mission of the non-profit Compost Club is to provide schools, restaurants, and the general public with a practical way to reduce waste.

School Composting Program

"We build compost systems, both worm bins and more sophisticated composting vessels, from home scale to industrial scale," says founder Rick Kaye. "Up to 48% percent of what we throw away is material that can be composted. Food waste, at approximately 33% in Sonoma County, is the largest category of trash sent to landfills nationally. Unless your county has a curbside food waste collection system, your food waste goes to the landfill."

In the Compost Club's home town of Healdsburg, there’s a real need to divert waste from the landfill, and they’re doing just that. The program, which began in 2003 at West Side School, has diverted 2 tons of waste from the landfill by using worm bins on campus to convert food waste into compost. The students then sell the compost at a local farmers’ market.

The $5000 raised through this effort is used to fund the 6th grade trip to Yosemite National Park.
It's a great lesson in closing the loop.

The Compost Club has been so successful, in fact, that it now reaches beyond the Healdsburg border, with additional schools around the county implementing their practical, straightforward composting program.

One of the board members of the Compost Club is Steve Rose, owner of the Vineyards Inn restaurant in Kenwood, CA. This wine country restaurateur has reduced his weekly waste output from 12 cubic yards to 3 cubic yards, and he saves over $2,000 per year in waste hauling fees.

He also produces 6 tons of compost, which he spreads on his organic-certified vineyards. His investment in a commercial grade EarthTub composter by Green Mountain Technologies handles 200 lbs. of food waste daily, and it paid for itself in just 2 1/2 years. Composting is not rocket science. Kaye and his board members are working with schools and business to try a simple worm bin system sized for their volume of organic waste. And when the time comes, they help them transition to a more sophisticated system.

“We are like ‘pool service technicians’ for onsite compost systems,” says Kaye.

In a dreamy world, Kaye envisions a day when schools are run like sustainable farms:  no trash trucks arrive to haul trash away from the school, and the school uses the waste-hauling savings to hire garden coordinators to turn the waste back to into resources. Onsite composting reduces wastefulness, promotes conservation, improves economics, reduces global warming, and simply makes good common sense.

“And while you are at it,” says Kaye, "don’t forget the Laptop Lunch Box.” His own daughter has used one since 2003, and he confirms that it makes a huge difference in eliminating the need for plastic baggies and other trash. “The Laptop Lunch Box is a great example of source reduction.”

School Garden

To learn more about the Compost Club, visit them online at

What Works...Success Stories

"I'm a huge fan of your products. My sister's family and I vacationed for two weeks together last summer, and all 9 of us had a Laptop Lunchbox for our lunches and snacks at the beach. It was wonderful and convenient!"

        -- Melinda Rothstein

"Hello Laptop Lunches! I received my Laptop Lunch, for my son, and he absolutely loves it. I really like that he is able to see everything there is to eat before jumping into a sweet apple, instead of rice! It really helps him make better choices. I know that laptop lunches are also for reducing waste…it has saved me many plastic baggies and paper bags. No more plastic utensils go to waste either. Thanks again for your wonderful product and for helping save our environment!!!"

        -- Kristina Aleshire

"I received the two Laptop Lunch kits for my 5 and 6 year old boys. And first I have to say that I absolutely LOVE them. For once I'm excited about packing their lunches. However, we have one suggestion.... napkins. the first thing my boys asked for was napkins so that they didn't have to throw ANYTHING away. I was just curious if you sell them or foresee yourself making a kit with a napkin included. I think that would be a great idea! I'm hoping by my boys taking these to school that it will encourage more kids to be more waste free. I plan on telling EVERYONE I know about Laptop Lunches! And I plan on purchasing at least one more within the next few months... two, if i can get my husband talked into it :) Thank you for making such an awesome product! I love my Laptop Lunch kit!!!"

       -- Stephanie Rutledge

NOTE FROM OBENTEC: If you're looking for some adorable, kid-friendly cloth napkins, check out Fabkins at

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

Featured Web Site:

G Living focuses on the positive and creative side of green. They look for green solutions that are practical and easy enough for anyone to incorporate into their own lives. The solutions, ideas, and products have to have the same (or a higher) standard than the traditional options everyone is used to.
Thai Vegetable Wraps

Of particular interest is the Green Chefs portion of the Web site at

G Living

This site is packed with short video clips of professional chefs making gorgeous, good-for-you recipes. For example, how do these sound...?

  • Tropical Salad with a Raspberry Poppy Seed Dressing
  • Mojo-jito
  • Mediterranean Almond Bread
  • Wilted Kale with Chipotle Dressing
  • Stuffed Vine Leaves with Mint Cashew Aioli
  • March Highlights

    Perfect Pilafs, Green Opportunities, and Earth Day Activities


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    © February 2008 Obentec, Inc.

    849 Almar Ave., Suite C-323
    Santa Cruz, CA 95060


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