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July 2007

Laptop Lunch Times: July 2007

July 2007

In this issue, you'll find:

  • From Our Desk to Yours...
  • Favorite Photo
  • Summer Picnic Salads
  • Green Opportunities
  • New Retailers
  • Recycled Paper: Making the Grade
  • What works...Success Stories
  • Featured Web site:

From Our Desk to Yours...

PINK LAPTOP LUNCH SYSTEMS: Our big news this month is that our pink carrying cases and pink Laptop Lunch systems are now available through our Web store at Just in time for back to school!

NEW LUNCH DATE COLORS: Be sure to check out our new Lunch Date colors at

ORDER EARLY FOR BACK TO SCHOOL: Avoid the end-of-summer rush by ordering your Laptop Lunches in July this year. August and September are our busiest months, so please plan ahead for the best selection and fastest service.

A FEW REMAINING MISMATCHED BENTO SETS: From time to time we end up with "extra" containers in combinations that, if assembled, would not equate to full primary sets or whimsical sets. Instead of recycling them, we assemble them into "mis-matched" sets, which are neither primary nor whimsical, but a combination of colors from both. We're currently offering these to schools and organizations in boxes of 24 only for a flat price of $312.00/box. For more information, click HERE. (This item is available only in boxes of 24.)

YAHOO SNAFU: If you're a yahoo email user and did not receive your May or June newsletter, it's because Yahoo blocked our mail server. To catch up on the news, read these past issues at We've been working with Yahoo to resolve this issue.

Amy and Tammy

Got a favorite photo to share?

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

This is a photo of 5-year-old Alani's lunch.

  • Organic corn chips to dip in organic refried black beans
  • Organic strawberries
  • Organic whole grain basmati rice

"My 5 year old is excited about lunch. She says "Mom, my lunch is gonna be good good good, really good! See how good that looks?!"



Jen Sugar and 5- year-old Alani

Picnic Salads

Black Bean & Rice Salad

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 15-oz. cans black beans (rinsed)
  • 1 cup cooked corn
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine rice, beans, corn, cilantro and tomatoes together in a mixing bowl. Mix well. Drizzle with oil and vinegar and toss gently to mix thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serves 6-8 adults.

Spicy Mustard Potato Salad

  • 12 unpeeled new or fingerling potatoes
  • 4 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • ½ small red onion, finely chopped

  • ½ cup or Vegenaise or mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbs. stone ground yellow mustard
  • 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 dill pickle, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Boil whole potatoes in water until cooked but still firm. Cut them into 1-inch cubes. Add chopped celery and onion, and mix well. Make dressing by combining mayonnaise, mustards and pickles. Fold dressing into potato mixture until all ingredients are well coated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serves 6 adults.

Cucumber and Avocado Salad

  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced
  • 4 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • 3 oz. crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado and feta cheese in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and vinegar and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serves 6 adults.

Green Opportunities

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

  • CARBON CALCULATORS – A host of online calculators are now available to help households and small businesses determine their carbon footprint, the amount of carbon-dioxide emitted into the atmosphere. These calculators take into consideration many factors, including how many miles you drive or fly each year, the types of vehicles driven, and the amount and type of electricity used. Calculate your carbon footprint at
  • CHEMICAL CAR SEATS – Concerned about what toxins may be lurking in your child's car seat? Visit to find out which car seats and boosters are the least toxic. Learn more about phthalates and lead and why your new car may be making you feel lousy.

  • SUSTAINLANE.COM – is a great place to voice your opinion and share information on all sorts of green products and businesses. You'll also discover great new products and local businesses through this community directory. Visit them online at

New Retailers

Hold Your Own
Cameron Village
2038 Clark Avenue
Raleigh, NC 27605
(919) 834-3563

Hold Your Own
Eastgate Shopping Center
1800 E. Franklin Street. #19
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 782-1070

Tree City Diapers
4119 Jackson Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
(734) 418-2392

Sherry Beall
Sherman Oaks, CA
(800) 547-8120
Kepler's Books and Magazines
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025
(650) 324-4321

Whole Foods Coop
1341 West 26th Street
Erie, PA 16508
(814) 456-0282

7 Main Street
Sag Harbor, NY 11963
(631) 725-3636

Natural Pantry
3801 Old Seward Highway
Anchorage, AK 99503
(907) 770-1444
Red Apple School Supply
(801) 268-6020


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.

Recycled Paper: Making the Grade

Tammy Pelstring interviews David Quigg, Director of Marketing at Grays Harbor Paper in Hoquiam, WA.





We first had the opportunity to meet you in 2006 at the San Francisco Green Festival, "gathering extraordinaire" of green companies and individuals working to promote sustainable living. What role did Grays Harbor play there?

Grays Harbor Paper is a family-owned business. Because we don't have a large advertising budget, we depend on word of mouth and grass roots campaigns. We felt that Green Festival was a great place to tell our story to 60,000 people who are interested in sustainability. There seems to be a wide spread between people who market their companies as "green" and those companies that actually walk the talk. We wanted to reach the people who were most likely to switch to recycled office paper.

Tammy: What makes your recycled content paper different from paper sold by other companies?

There are very few privately owned paper mills left in the US. Since 2000 over 20 machines have closed on the West Coast alone, and large corporations own many of the machines that are still running. We have survived, we believe, because of our commitment to being a sustainable company. We follow the triple bottom line: people, profits and planet.

Tammy: You've mentioned that Grays Harbor is a family run business. Tell us the history and where you fit in.

Our family has been in Grays Harbor County for four generations--through the good times and bad. Unfortunately, it's been bad lately. In 1992 International Paper and ITT Rayonier closed the pulp and paper mill that they ran jointly, putting 650 people out of work. At the same time, logging and fishing were being curtailed, and our community was devastated. Only 80,000 people remain in the whole county and 8,000 in Hoquiam, where the mill closed.

We didn't want to move away from Grays Harbor, so Dad--along with many of my aunts, uncles, and family friends from the NW--bought the paper mill and re-opened it.

During college I spent the summers working on the production floor, learning the business from the ground up. I'm currently a one-person marketing team, trying to spread the work about GHP and our Harbor 100 Paper.

Tammy: Tell us about some of the sustainable practices in your factory?
David: Because sustainability is a journey with no end, it's easiest to talk about a few of our biggest accomplishments and ongoing projects. Our boilers, which make steam to dry our paper, run on biomass wood waste instead of oil. We also now use some of that steam to run turbines that produce renewable electricity to run our facility, and we sell the surplus back into the grid. We divert all of the industrial waste from the paper making process by land applying it to our family ranch instead of sending it to a landfill.
Tammy: What does it mean to use 100% certified renewable, carbon neutral energy?
David: We use woody waste (limbs, and branches) left behind when land is cleared for lumber, development, or trimming trees away from roads and power lines. This by-product is called slash. Instead of burning the slash as before, we retrieve this material and grind it to use in our boilers. We use emissions controls and use the ash as fertilizer.
Tammy: Where can Grays Harbor paper be purchased?
David: Harbor 100 paper is FSC Certified, 100% post-consumer printing and writing grade. We are currently distributed through xpedx, a paper merchant that sells nationally. We've also just started a limited trial with Costco at a few warehouse locations. It's still somewhat difficult to get our paper, but we're working on it! If you have questions about finding the paper in your area, please give us a call or visit our Web site at
Tammy: Where do you hope to see your company in the future?

We have some exciting projects in the works. The one I'm most excited about is the building of a recycled pulp mill here on our site. We have completed the engineering for the $60 million facility. Our goal is to sell paper only to customers who will return it to us for recycling without fossil fuels. We then sell it back, thereby closing the paper loop.


Aside from using recycled content paper, do you have any other "green-office" tips to share?
David: This may sound like I'm biting the hand, but people still use too much paper. The average office worker uses two cases of paper per year, which really adds up. Companies should implement double-sided copying policies. The City of Seattle lists some great tips and tools at These practices reduce not only copy paper, but also toners and inks, which can be quite expensive.
Tammy: And lastly, what's your favorite lunch?
David: Last week I decided to try being a vegetarian. My friends tease me because I don't really eat a lot of fruits or vegetables. I don't know how long I can live off Clif Bars, but I'm giving it a try!

What Works...Success Stories

"I really enjoy the lunchbox. I bought it for myself to take to work. Frankly, when I saw the lunch box I was worried that it would be too small and I would be hungry. I was surprised to see how much food fits in the containers! I was stuffed after eating half my lunch! Thanks so much! I am glad I made the purchase."

        -- Guissella, Winchester, CA

"We love the laptop lunchbox! It just arrived over the weekend, and our daughter Sophie is so excited about taking her lunch to school. What I like best is how good the food looks in the lunchbox. Before, Sophie would have to open a variety of containers or baggies to get to her lunch items. Now, she pops up the lid and her lunch is before her. The food looks better! She loves the different menu ideas listed in the user’s guide and looks forward to planning her lunch. And, she’s only in kindergarten. This is a wonderful tool that will last her many years.

Thanks so much for this wonderful product. I will recommend it to friends, and it is going down on my list of great gift ideas for nieces, nephews and friends."

        -- Tracy Heilman, Urbana, IL

"My friend and I recently purchased laptop lunchboxes. While my friend dove right into using her lunchbox, I was hesitant as I thought it didn't look big enough for my lunches and snacks. I had intended to return it and even contacted you regarding this. However, after talking about all the fun lunches my friend was fitting into her laptop lunchbox, I decided to go for it and try mine.

"I love it! I am much more thoughtful about what I pack for lunch and snacks for work. My coworkers immediately noticed the colorful containers, and I happily shared the system with them. One of my coworkers immediately ordered 4! I am happily serving as a referral source for your product."

        -- Rachel Cohen, Philadelpia, PA

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

Featured Web Site:

Habitat ReStores are retail outlets where quality used and surplus building materials are sold at great prices. Proceeds from ReStores help local affiliates fund the construction of Habitat houses within the community. Many affiliates across the United States and Canada operate successful ReStores—some of which raise enough funds to build an additional 10 or more houses per year.

Materials sold by Habitat ReStores are usually donated from building supply stores, contractors, demolition crews or from individuals who wish to show their support for Habitat. In addition to raising funds, ReStores help the environment by rechanneling good, usable materials into use.

On this site you'll find...

  • A listing of ReStores by country and state
  • A building materials donation center
  • Energy bulletins
  • Tips for materials conservation
  • Workshop dates
  • Information on housing safety

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that building construction and demolition debris make up to 40% of US solid waste. Habitat for Humanity is working to bring that number down by selling reclaimed building materials--a great way to raise money for their programs. Visit them online at

August Highlights

Travel Menus, Green Opportunities, and Back-to-school Lunchmaking Tips!


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

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© July 2007 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."