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July 2008

Laptop Lunch Times: July 2008

July 2008

In this issue, you'll find:

  • From Our Desk to Yours...
  • Favorite Photo
  • Summer Travel Menus
  • Green Opportunities
  • Laptop Lunches in the News
  • New Retailers
  • BYO on the Road this Summer
  • What works...Success Stories
  • Featured Web site:

From Our Desk to Yours...

We hope you’re enjoying the long days of summer and are looking forward to the upcoming 4th of July holiday. Whether you’re attending a family reunion, getting together with friends, or having a neighborhood barbecue, we hope you’ll find ways to make it waste free.

Consider using water pitchers instead of single-serve water bottles. Purchase a bin for storing reusable plates, utensils, cups, water pitchers, and cloth napkins that you can use in place of single-use paper and plastic. With reusables the clean-up is easy. When the party's over, load the dishes, cups, and flatware into the dishwasher, toss the linens into the washing machine, and forget about dragging bags of trash out to the curb.

Consider attending a 5th of July clean-up event in your area as well. Spend your Saturday with an organization like Surfrider or the Clean Beach Coalition picking up litter at a lake, beach or park near you as well.

Finally, if you're going to be traveling this month, consider packing on-the-go meals. If you're planning to eat out, take a reusable container along, so you can pack the leftovers for later. With food and gas prices on the rise, every little bit of savings helps!

RED CARRYING CASES: Our new red carrying cases have arrived and are available for sale through retailers and on our Web site at Use our store locator at to find a retailer near you. Sold separately and bundled into Systems with the black and red bento set. Very classy!

Laptop Lunches Red Carrying Case

STAINLESS DRINK BOTTLES AND LARGE LUNCH JARS: The recent media coverage surrounding the potentially harmful effects of bisphenol A (BPA) resulted in a sudden burst of sales on all Laptop Lunch products. Our stainless bottles and large lunch jars are currently on backorder, but we expect to be fully stocked on all items by mid-July. Thanks for your patience, and rest assured that all Laptop Lunch products are free of lead, phthalates, and BPA. If you'd like to be placed on a waiting list for these two backordered items, please contact us. ( We apologize for the inconvenience.

WELCOME STEPHANIE: Stephanie brings extensive experience in customer service and support. She is a skilled public speaker, money manager, and group facilitator. In her life outside of Obentec, she attends school part time, volunteers in the community, and performs in two bands. We're very happy to have her on board as we head into the back to school season!

EXTRA MISC CONTAINERS STILL AVAILABLE: We still have some medium and large unlidded containers available for 50 cents each, and a few dip containers now as well. 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 AT THIS TIME.

Amy and Tammy

Got a favorite photo to share?

Email it to us at [email protected], and we'll publish it here!
Grilled Chicken with Coconut Rice

  • Coconut Rice with Grilled Chicken
  • Half a Peach and Half an Oatmeal Cookie
  • Ear of Corn
  • Deviled Eggs

Submitted by:

                     -- Sarah Rossmassler, Hatfield, MA

Travel Menus

Heading out on vacation this summer? Packing a Laptop Lunch can save time and money and help you pack nutritious on-the-go meals.

Summer Fun

Cut up your papaya and boil your corn and edamame, and you're ready to go.

  • papaya
  • trail mix
  • corn on the cob
  • edamame (steamed soy beans)
Papaya, Corn on the Cob, Edamame, Trail Mix

Falafel Bites

Saute the falafel in a bit of olive oil instead of deep-frying and serve with whole wheat pita bread. Yum!

  • falafel
  • whole wheat pita bread
  • dates
  • cherry tomatoes
  • sliced cucumbers
Falafel, Whole Wheat Pita Bread, Sliced Cucumbers, Cherry Tomatoes, Dates

Green Opportunities

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

  • FOREST PRESERVATION – A forest area the size of 20 football fields is lost every minute to paper production. Logging for wood and paper products destroys habitat, contaminates drinking water, and releases greenhouse gases. Consumers and companies alike have the power to change this for the better. Visit for information on what you can do.

Cool Globes Help Green Schools
  • COOL GLOBES – If you're planning to be in Chicago, San Francisco, or Washington, DC this summer, be sure to check out the “Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet” exhibit. This project, created by environmental activist and mother of four, Wendy Abrams, aims to educate people about potential solutions to global warming.

    The globes, designed by local, national and international artists, as well as school children, measure five feet in diameter and weigh 2,300 pounds.

The globes will be sold next spring to benefit Earth Day Network's Green Schools Program, which funds the installation of green roofs and solar panels, green walls, energy efficient lighting, gardens, and greenhouses. They also promote healthy food, safer cleaning products, and better recreational facilities. Green, sustainable schools have been shown to increase attendance, lessen allergies, and improve test scores.

For more information, about the Cool Globes project, visit

  • EAT LOCAL – Buying local food not only helps local farmers thrive, it reduces energy consumption. Estimates on how long the average food travels from pasture to plate range from 1200 to 2500 miles, and It takes a lot of energy to freeze, refrigerate, and truck this food to its final destination. Reduce the amount of fossil fuel required to prepare and transport your food by favoring locally grown options.

    Even when it’s not organic, small farms tend to use fewer chemicals than large factory farms. And while fruits and vegetables from overseas may seem more exotic, they may also have been produced in countries with weaker environmental standards. Finally, small family farms are more likely to grow more interesting varieties, making food more flavorful, protecting biodiversity, and preserving a wider agricultural gene pool. Learn more about eating locally at
Joyce Raffo and Paige Rodgers of Fabkins
  • CLOTH NAPKINS – Fabkins co-founders, Paige Rodgers and Joyce Raffo, have generously offered a 10% discount to Laptop Lunch Times readers! To take advantage of this offer, use discount code "wastefree" when you purchase from their Web site at If you're not familiar with Fabkins, they're soft, durable everyday cloth napkins for kids, available in an array of bright colors and playful designs--great for rounding out your waste-free lunch kit!

Laptop Lunches in the News

Carmel Magazine

Spring/Summer 2008

Eating Well for the Planet

Laptop Lunch Bento Set in Carmel Magazine
"They may seem like two regular working moms, but Amy Hemmert and Tammy Pelstring have more on their agendas than just their kids’ soccer practice and the usual nine-to-five. The Santa Cruz friends took the simple concept of packing healthy lunches for their children one step further by launching Laptop Lunches, sustainable bento box containers designed to improve nutrition and reduce waste." [Read the rest of the story at]

May 2008

Hollywood Hero

St. Elsewhere's Ed Begley Jr. shares his saintly environmental lifestyle

By Emily Page

Ed Begley Jr. tosses out a glove compartment’s worth of trash each week. Add his wife and daughter to the equation, and you’ve got a family with only a couple glove compartments’ worth of trash weekly. Not bad for three people.

Begley lives by a “cradle to cradle” philosophy, in which “human activities should mimic nature.” Whereby old things should come back in new forms, and landfills don’t fill up with non-biodegradable, wasted resources. He lives the American dream; but his white picket fence is made from recycled plastic milk jugs; his

Zero Waste Lunch

toaster is powered by his stationary exercise bike; he skips the garden hose in favor of water collected in a giant plastic rain barrel. In short, his solar-powered home is “self-sufficient.”

During a recent visit to Sacramento, the actor-turned-activist expanded on his sustainable philosophies as fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders from Crocker/Riverside Elementary School sat nearby on a lawn, eating their lunches.

But this wasn’t just any old lunch with plastic-wrapped sandwiches and milk cartons stuffed in paper bags. This lunch was absolutely waste-free, part of an event organized by the California Department of Conservation and The children enjoyed fruit, sandwiches and more packaged in Laptop Lunch Boxes, a series of small, recyclable, plastic containers inside a plastic lunchbox. [Read the rest of the story at]

The Huffington Post

June 25, 2008

The Waste-Free Kid's Lunch: Not Impossible!

By Gay Browne

"As a mom, I'm pretty eco-responsible. I buy organic. I carpool. I compost. And I'd be delighted to never see another Ziploc bag in my life, except ... how else am I supposed to pack my kids' lunches? It's a space problem: Reusable containers are so rigid, so maddeningly unbendy, that you just can't cram more than one or two into a lunchbox. So I wind up swallowing my petroleum-and-landfill guilt every morning as I toss some baby carrots or pretzel sticks -- gulp -- into a plastic baggie and watch it slither, slide and settle, cooperatively, between the bulkier contents of the lunchbox. But here's another space problem: An average kid using disposable lunch wrappers generates 67 pounds of waste per school year. Where on earth will it all go?"

[Read the rest of the story at]

New Retailers

Celebro Clothing
109 Carlisle NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
(505) 265-6403
Whole Foods Market
1765 California St.
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 674-0500
Red Rock Running Company
2801 High View Dr.
Henderson, NV 89014
(702) 870-4786
The Oregon Center
for Environmental Health
4819 N.E. Fremont St.
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 233-1510

18865 Fleatown Rd.
Lincoln, DE 19960
(302) 422-2505

Green Home Experts
823 S. Oak Park Ave.
Oak Park, IL 60304
(708) 937-5403

Whole Foods Market
1690 South Bascom Ave.
Campbell, CA 95008
(408) 371-5000

Whole Foods Market
239 North Crescent Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 274-3360
Village Gifts
897 Whalley Ave.
New Haven, CT 06515
(203) 387-1145
Autism Community Store
1900 S. Quince St. Unit A
Denver, CO 80231
(303) 309-3647

Eggshells Kitchen Company
5705 Kavanaugh Blvd.
Little Rock, AR 72207
(501) 664-6900
106 Wilson St., West
Perth, ON K7H 2P3
(877) 366-3437

Whole Foods Market
450 Rhode Island St.
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 552-1155

Whole Foods Market
888 116th AVE NE
Bellevue, WA 98004
(425) 462-1400

Sunrise Natural Foods
1950 Douglas Blvd.
Roseville, CA 95661
(916) 789-8591
Cuddly Baby
1 King William St., Unit 4
Huntsville, ON P1H 1G7
(705) 789-5600

Lively Kids
15 State St.
Newburyport, MA 01950
(978) 465-7650

Me Gusta Baby
895 Lincoln Way
Auburn, CA 95603
(530) 888-7566

Whole Foods Market
1101 S. Canal St., Suite 107
Chicago, IL 60607-4906
(312) 435-4600

Whole Foods Market
201 W. Napa St.
Sonoma, California 95476
(707) 938-8500
Boomerang Kids - Orleans
1605 Orleans Blvd, Unit 4
Ottawa, ON K1C 7E2
(613) 627-1101
Boomerang Kids - Kanata
700 Eagleson, Unit 114
Ottawa, ON K2M 2G9
(613) 287-3761

Boomerang Kids - Westboro
261 Richmond Rd.
Ottawa, ON K1Z 6X1
(613) 722-6671

Natural Elements
122 N. Walnut St.
Bloomington, IN  47404
(812) 339-6918

Boomerang Kids - Old Ottawa South
1056 Bank St.
Ottawa, ON K1S 3X2
(613) 730 0711

Swiss Knife Shop
Amherst, NH

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.

Buy Your Own vs. Bring Your Own

By Kate Chipman

With the price of oil pushing up the cost of air travel, airlines are being forced to find ways to reduce costs and increase revenues.

Take food for example. Nearly all airlines have eliminated complimentary meal service for coach passengers. Some have eliminated food service, period. And some now offer a BYO, (Buy your Own) option. But with costs generally ranging from $2 for a snack to $12 for a meal, this translates into an additional $56 for a family of 4 purchasing both an in-flight snack and meal. And it may be best not to look too closely at the ingredients.

Airline Meal Carrier

Of course one can always grab a meal-to-go in the airport terminal but, with meal prices at airport eateries often double those located beyond the airport walls, this option will likely set you back even more. And then there's that awkward trip down the aisle in search of your seat with that plastic bag dangling somewhat unsteadily from your not-so-free arm. And the quality of the food won't be much of an improvement.

But do not despair. Savvy travelers are ditching the "Buy Your Own" mentality in favor of the "Bring Your Own" approach. This form of BYO will not only reduce your costs, but will help ensure that your family eats better along the way. Packing a Laptop Lunch for each family member costs about $2.65 per meal. And your waste-free choice will eliminate 1.3 lbs. of trash per passenger as well.

Pack a Laptop Lunch for the flight, and you'll be able to use it throughout your vacation. Prepare meals for daily outings or save restaurant leftovers for later. With your Laptop Lunch, you'll also eliminate the need to request a disposable to-go container along with your the bill.

What Works...Success Stories

"I've thought about writing this email many times, and I finally decided to just go ahead and do it. I suppose if I told you that my Laptop Lunch box has made me a better person, you'd think I was just being hyperbolic - but it's true!

"When I first got a Laptop Lunch box, I was just looking for a way to save a little money on my workday lunches. I was skeptical that I'd have the willpower to stick to a routine of planning lunches, packing them, and washing the box every night, but I found that I really enjoyed taking the time to do the right thing for my budget and my body. It was a small step, but it sparked something, and it was the spark I needed to start doing the right thing in other areas of my life.

"The principles that Laptop Lunches represent - healthfulness, economy, creativity, environmental consciousness - were my inspiration as I took a look at myself and asked, 'How can I be healthier, less wasteful, greener and more creative?' In short, really, how can I be a better, more mindful person?

"Over the last few months there's been a ripple effect happening as I make more and more little changes, and some big ones. Of course I stumble a bit along the way, but the cumulative effect is definite, and definitely positive.

"Like most people, I am very much a work in progress, but *progress* is the operative word! So I just want to say thanks for all the good work you do, and for inspiring me to be a better person each day than I was the day before."

Please sign me:

        -- A Very Satisfied Customer!

"My daughter, who is now in the third grade, would come home most days having eaten only half her lunch. After several months of searching for a better lunch box, I discovered Laptop Lunches. Now my daughter eats her entire lunch, enjoying the compartments filled with a variety of foods. I love the colorful, lead-free containers and how they make her lunches look so appetizing. My youngest, who will start first grade in the fall, can't wait to take her pink Laptop to school. Thank you Laptop Lunches!"

        -- Jennifer Haslam, Vancouver, WA

"My son and I both have Laptop Lunches, and we LOVE them! He is the envy of his classmates! One of the best things I have ever purchased!"

        -- Jeannie C., Atco, NJ

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

Featured Web Site:

Carbon Calculator Is Your Lunch Causing Global Warming?

Did you know, the food system is responsible for 1/3 of global greenhouse emissions?

With every meal you eat, you have the power to reduce climate change.

The Bon Appétit Management Company Low Carbon Diet Calculator is designed to allow you to compare the relative carbon impacts of your food choices.

You can drag and drop menu items, ingredients or sample meals into your virtual pan and quickly calculate how you're contributing to climate change.

Bon Appétit Management Company is an onsite custom restaurant company that provides café and catering services to corporations, colleges and universities, and specialty venues. Bon Appétit's goal is to be known for its culinary expertise, commitment to socially responsible food sourcing and business practices, and strong partnerships with respected conservation organizations.

On this site:

  • Low Carbon Diet Calculator
  • Tips for Going on a Low Carbon Diet
  • Information on the Bon Appetit Management Company
Eat Well

For more information, visit

August Highlights

Summer Picnic Menus, Green Opportunities, and the Garbage Revolution


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

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© July 2008 Obentec, Inc.

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


Feel free to reprint or forward this newsletter with the following acknowledgment and contact information clearly visible: "Thank you to Obentec, Inc. for permission to use this copyrighted material. For more information, contact Obentec, Inc. by email at [email protected] or by phone at 831-457-0301, or visit their Web site at Reprint permission granted with this full notice included."