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September 2007

Laptop Lunch Times: September 2007

September 2007

In this issue, you'll find:

  • From Our Desk to Yours...
  • Favorite Photo
  • New Twists on Old Sandwich Favorites
  • Green Opportunities
  • Laptop Lunches in the News
  • New Retailers
  • Taking the EcoMom Challenge
  • What works...Success Stories
  • Featured Web site:

From Our Desk to Yours...

STAINLESS DRINK BOTTLES: All of our stainless items are now back in stock. Thanks for your patience. They were very popular this summer!

NAME LABELS FOR YOUR LAPTOP LUNCHES: Recently we've received a large number of requests for name labels from both individuals and schools. If you're looking for a great way to help your child identify his or her Laptop Lunch, please check out Mabel's Labels at Their personalized labels are colorful, cute, and dishwasher-safe.

Amy and Tammy

Got a favorite photo to share?

Email it to us at [email protected], and we'll publish it here!
Here's a picture of lunch in my Laptop Lunch:
  • Pasta with tofu, Snow peas, Carrots, and Peanut sauce
  • Dried Mangos, Cranberries, and a Kiwi fruit
  • Steamed Broccoli and Carrots
  • Goldfish Crackers

"I love, love, love my lunchbox. I take my lunch to work in it every day and am constantly getting compliments on the box. "

Sara Norwood

New Twists on Old Sandwich Favorites

Cashew Butter & Fresh Figs on Toasted Challah

Instead of peanut butter and jelly:

  • toasted challah
  • cashew butter
  • sliced fresh figs

Salmon with Whole Wheat Crackers

Instead of tuna salad:

  • whole wheat crackers
  • salmon salad made with:

    • canned or fresh salmon, flaked
    • lowfat cream cheese
    • fresh chopped dill
    • grated onion (optional)

Egg Salad with Fresh Parsley and Sprouts

Instead of plain egg salad:

  • whole wheat bagel
  • chopped egg
  • chopped parsley
  • Vegenaise
  • flax oil
  • sprouts
  • salt and pepper to taste

Green Opportunities

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

  • THE HIGH PRICE OF BOTTLED WATER – How much bottled water do we drink? So much that you’d think our taps had run dry. Between 1976 and 2006, annual consumption of bottled water rose from an average of 1.6 gallons per person to 27.6 gallons—an increase of 1,625 percent. Last year, Americans chugged 8.25 billion gallons of the stuff, or 30 billion actual bottles worth. In 2006, the U.S. spent $15 billion on bottled water—more than on movie tickets. A recent Gallup poll found that one in five Americans drinks no tap water at all. [Read the complete article at]

  • LUNCH NUTRITION – KidsAndNutrition provides valuable information for parents who want to help their children maintain a healthy and nutritious diet. Good nutrition can instill lifelong eating habits that help children grow to their full potential and lead healthy lives. Check out their features and articles written by professional journalists and experts at
  • LOW-EMISSIONS AUTO RENTAL – The next time you need to rent a car, consider renting a low emissions vehicle from a company like EVRental at
  • ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINTS – Examine your ecological footprint with a new game from the Sustainability Desk available at

    This game, launched by the Public Insight Network, uses the science of ecological footprinting to gauge the environmental impact of your lifestyle, and then lets you redesign your consumption habits so you can live within the Earth’s resources.

    To play, answer questions about the things you buy, the food you eat, how you transport yourself and power your home, and the waste you generate. The game creates a picture of what the world might look like if everyone on Earth lived like you, calculates your ecological impact, and gives you some suggestions for where you could change your lifestyle.

Laptop Lunches in the News

NJ Family

Go Green for Lunch

The Laptop Lunch System turns packing lunch into a "green" science. The kit contains an insulated carrying case, a reusable water bottle, and a bento box with small inner containers and utensils so there's no disposable waste. $34.99;

Dallas Morning News

"Parents with picky eaters have borrowed a concept from the Japanese to make brown-bag boredom a thing of the past. Their solution? Bento boxes, or a variety of lunch containers that use the same concept.

The Asian lunchboxes are designed like jewelry boxes – imagine an individually designed dinner tray or a grown-up baby setting – with subdivided or even stacked sections that hold minidishes.

These compartments are easily removed, making cleaning a cinch and creating a waste-free alternative to plastic bags.

Yet bento boxes are more than just a clever way to segregate the sauced items from the dry, the hot from the cold. Some moms are using them, along with tried-and-true techniques, to boost nutrition and combat the supersize craze."

[Read the rest of the article online at:]

The View From The Bay

Chef Ann Cooper demonstrates how to get kids involved in packing nutritious lunches at

Good Morning America

Dietician Ellie Krieger demonstrates how to pack a healthy lunch: Nutritious and delicious options for your child's school lunch: .

The Star-Telegram, Fort Worth, TX

Bye-bye, brown bags – Reusable lunch totes let your kids help Mother Earth, but are still cool enough for the cafeteria:

Urban Baby Daily

"Ice cream and lemonade may be summer food staples, but back to school calls for a more healthful eating plan. Laptop Lunches' Bento Box Set makes it easy to feed kids well – and protect their environment at the same time. The tray-like boxes – in four cheery color combos – are packed with a range of reusable containers and lids in various sizes to accommodate everything from sandwiches and salads to dips and dressings." [Read the rest of the article at:]

Healthy Make-Ahead Lunch Tips: Getting the family "back-to-school"

"Back-to-school means back-to-the-drawing-board for many parents trying to pack quick, easy lunches that are healthy for their kids -- and themselves. But don't despair: Help is at hand. The EatingWell Test Kitchen -- which includes a number of working parents -- has provided these healthy recipes and lunch tips." [Read the rest of the article at:]

New Retailers

Anthea Designs
3100 N. Davidson St
Charlotte, NC 28205
(704) 375-0088

New Seasons Market
15861 SE Happy Valley Town Center Dr.
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(503) 558-9214
1775 Washington Street
Hanover, MA 02339
(731) 829-0128

Bugaboo Baby & You
236 Labreche Drive
North Bay, ON PIA 4J6
(705) 497-5953

Toe Jamz, Inc.
12418 LaGrange Road, Suite 145
Louisville, KY 40245
(502) 241-8637

Whole Foods
800 Del Monte Center
Monterey, CA 93940
(831) 333-1600

Little Bubbs Boutique
5846 Furlong Drive
Medina, OH 44256
(440) 263-8182

Nutrition House
285 Geneva Street
St. Catharines, ON L2N 2G1
(905) 9353-1872

Whole Foods
3000 Telegraph Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 649-1333

Whole Foods
8855 W. Charleston Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89117
(702) 254-0655

Whole Foods Sacramento
4315 Arden Way
Sacramento, CA 95864
(916) 488-2800

Whole Foods West Hartford
50 Raymond Road
West Hartford, CT 06107
(860) 523-8500

Whole Foods
1010 Park Place
San Mateo, CA 94403
(650) 358-6900

Wishes Toy Store
240 Chappel Place
Avon, CO 81620
(970) 845-0456

Brainwaves Toy Shop
Salt Pond Plaza
91 Point Judith Road
Narragansett, RI 02882
(401) 792-8697

Perfectly Natural
523 Boston Post Road
Sudbury, MA 01776

Woolly Bugs
Austin, TX 78729
(512) 426-3468

201 West Napa Street #8
Sonoma, CA 95476
(707) 938-2699

Low Country Coop
(843) 343 4727
(905) 910-0902

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.

Taking the EcoMom Challenge

Tammy Pelstring interviews Kimberly Danek Pinkson, founder of EcoMom Alliance.

Tammy: Hi Kimberly, I was so excited to come across your organization. I must say that it really spoke to me. Can you tell our readers about the EcoMom Alliance?

The EcoMom Alliance is a 501-c-3 non-profit organization I founded with a clear and two-fold mission.

1. To leverage the power of mothers to help reduce global warming.
2. To inspire and empower moms to help create a sustainable future by Sustaining Themselves, Sustaining Their Homes, and Sustaining Our Planet.

The EcoMom Alliance is about bringing women together, making a difference, feeling good, connecting, and sharing -- doing what women have been doing since the beginning of time: sustaining life.

Tammy: What inspired you to start The EcoMom Alliance?

My background in sustainability began at an early age, so I've been a long time social entrepreneur, and I've always loved bringing people together. The idea for EcoMom was, quite literally, "a light bulb moment." I had co-produced an event for the United Nations World Environment Day, and several weeks later I was with a group of mom friends at a picnic on Donner Lake. My friend, Tiffany, who had attended the event, started talking about how the event had inspired her to change all of her light bulbs to CFLs. I was really excited – and touched of course, but what happened next was really great. All of the other moms joined in and started asking questions about how they could be more eco-friendly, and I started thinking about the power of mothers, not only as role models for the next generation, but as a significant market force. The seed was planted, and a few months later EcoMom was born.

Tammy: What is the EcoMom Challenge?

The EcoMom Challenge is a call to action which asks moms to step up and take 10 First Steps For a Sustainable Future. It is tangible, doable, and fun. Many of us feel so overwhelmed when thinking about the climate crisis that we act like deer in headlights: paralyzed by fear and confusion. The EcoMom Challenge is about making a difference, but it's something that everyone can do, starting now, with baby steps. Just like our children must take first steps before they can walk or run, so too do we have to start with first steps. You can find the steps on our Web site at

Tammy: What are a few easy-to-do changes that moms can make to help reduce global warming?

That is really what the EcoMom Challenge is about, and one of the things that makes this easy, and enticing is the realization that it's all connected. So what you do to reduce global warming will also help you find more time, energy, and quality in your life. This is one of the guiding principles of EcoMom, and it's anchored in the indigenous belief that we are all connected – a tenet I was taught early on through my father’s work with native elders. So, things like driving less, doing less laundry, reducing, reusing and recycling are simple things that add more time to your day, and save money, and reduce CO2 emissions. And of course, supporting sustainable companies such as Laptop Lunches – saves you time and energy because you don't have to shop for baggies every other month, it keeps trash out of our landfills thus reducing CO2 emissions, and it protects your family from exposure to toxic plasticizers. For other ideas, you can visit and go to 10 First Steps

Tammy: The back to school season is upon us. Do you have any suggestions for what moms can do to green their schools?

I just wrote two sections about this in our newsletter. I recommend encouraging the school to serve organic food, getting the school to use non-toxic cleaning supplies, paints, and fertilizers, using all recycled paper (including toilet paper), recycling, putting motion sensors on lights, and encouraging families to walk or ride bikes to school. The idea of a walking bus is growing a lot in popularity. Parents take turns being the “driver.” They walk through the neighborhood and “pick up” kids on the way to school. By the time they arrive, they're a virtual walking or bike riding parade led by one or two parents. is a great resource, as is

Tammy: Tell me about the EcoMom One Night a Week Challenge? What are some tips for making this doable?
Kimberly: It's part of our outreach education, based on the Australian Conservation Foundation's "Cool the Globe" initiative. It's about helping moms and helping our planet. By choosing one night to not use any electricity – no lights, no laundry, no TV – families can reconnect with one another while they save resources. This is, in large part, inspired by my childhood memory of power outages on stormy nights. We played games, ate dinner by the fire, talked, and connected. To make this doable, have a family meeting and introduce the idea. Choose a night that everyone agrees on, and make the planning a family affair. It's kind of like going on a mini camping trip: the process is part of the journey and part of the reward. You might come to understand how you use resources and how you can work together to be more sustainable. Without the TV, and with candle-light and conversation, romantic energy often gets “renewed”!
Tammy: How are you getting the word out about EcoMom?

By speaking at moms' groups, PTA groups, and special events, through our Web site and bi-monthly newsletter. I’ve been writing guest columns in magazines and newspapers, and have been making media appearances. We're also starting to offer Sustain Your Self Workshops that give women a chance to take a few hours for themselves to enjoy a mind-body-spirit experience that will leave them feeling inspired and empowered. I'm also excited about a new outreach program that will create EcoMom Leaders in communities worldwide.

Tammy: What is your hope and dream for EcoMom?

That one day my work won’t be necessary because our culture will have shifted to one of sustainable living wherein environmental, social and economic prosperity are a reality for all. And that every mom will be an EcoMom!

Tammy: What do you do for fun when you’re not working with EcoMom Alliance?

Not working? What does that mean? Just kidding. As a single mom and social entrepreneur I never really stop, but more importantly, EcoMom is about a lifestyle. Work and play are integrated. My fun is connected to the environment, which is part of what motivates my work. It is also integral to the values I try to pass on to my son, Corbin. I try to get outdoors as much as possible and balance sitting at the computer and speaking engagements with activities that keep my body healthy too -- and give me more precious time with him. We love to go backpacking in the Sierras, rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, playing on the beach and pummeling (that’s my word for the “surfing” we try to do.)

Tammy: What's the biggest challenge you currently face?

Remembering that I have to walk my talk and sustain myself as I get this organization up and running at the next level.


Any moments of epiphany?
Kimberly: Every day! I think that we often wait for the billboard flashing sign, like in that Steve Martin movie with Sarah Jessica Parker. I think it was called LA Story, but if we shift our focus and begin to realize the miracles and “signs” that are there for us every day -- in the stars, mountains, oceans, friends, family . . . the epiphanies are always there. Then, it just becomes a matter of acting on them and bringing them into reality.


Describe your favorite lunch.
Kimberly: OK, but I don’t think this is one that your readers will be inspired by. Baked potato, steamed broccoli, and salmon all mixed together, followed by some ice cream. In my Laptop Lunch Box, Corbin and I both love doing a mix of steamed vegetables with a side of dipping sauce, a turkey sandwich with mayo, sprouts, and cucumbers, and then a handful of Newman’s chocolate mint “oreos” for dessert. All organic of course!

News From Abroad


Tammy recently visited Jonathan and Valerie Salomon of UK sales have been growing steadily as word spreads throughout Europe. Laptop Lunches have appeared in a number of magazines and newspapers recently, and Jonathan and Valerie are particularly excited about Laptop Lunches being featured in Weight Watchers Magazine. Jonathan has recently transitioned to work with Valerie in promoting Laptop Lunches full time! Here are some links to some recent press coverage:


Congratulations to our Canadian partner, Lisa Borden (, who recently gave birth to baby Andy. Lisa, mother of three adorable children, manages to balance both family and work admirably. Within a few days of Andy's birth, Lisa took advantage of his long, peaceful naps to follow up with customers. She is, indeed, a Super Mom!

Lisa recently had a lunch making article published in The Yummy Mummy Club.,19159,19235

Lisa worked closely with Whole Foods in Canada this summer to create this nice end cap display for Back to School.

Marianne Blix, our Swedish partner (, has recently begun promoting Laptop Lunches in Sweden. Marianne reports that business has been growing on its own by word of mouth, via forums and blogs. She hasn't engaged in any formal advertising yet, but she's been contacted by the media and looks forward to an article coming out this month...and more press thereafter.


Laptop Lunches continue to grow in popularity in Denmark. Den Gamle Skole, "The Old School," introduced the primary set in 2005. It was so successful that they recently started offering the whimsical set as well. Laptop Lunches are popular in Danish kindergartens and schools - and among grown-ups too!

What Works...Success Stories

"One week with the lunchbox and we absolutely love it! In fact, it has caused such a commotion with the preschool kids that parents are asking me for information on it. Hopefully, it will catch on.

My daughter goes to Montessori Preschool, where useful lunchboxes are required. I found it very hard to find a lunchbox before now. Thank you again and again.

I should also add that this last week with her spiffy Laptop Lunch, my daughter not only ate edamame, but apples, avocados, celery, and carrots. She's never even wanted to try those before. You can't understand how happy I am!!!"

Very satisfied customer,

        --Dessie Zalesny, Redding, CA

"Hi! I just found a great, reasonably priced thing to add to my Laptop Lunch. It's from a company called "Crispy Green" ( It's crispy freeze-dried fruit (pineapple, apples, peaches and nectarines). They're just great. I usually use my Laptop Lunch when I'm knitting (teaching, or just taking the design work outside), and it's great to get fruit without the sticky mess. Good for you too! Check them out!

        --Witt Pratt, Winchester, VA, Your Shenandoah Laptop Luncher

"I just purchased a Laptop Lunchbox for my 2-year old daughter. It's early, I know, but why not make her lunch at daycare a little more exciting? Anyway, today I received my first Laptop Lunch Times newsletter. What an unexpected bonus -- I really appreciate the 'food for thought' that comes with our purchase!"

        --Amy Tournas-Hardt, Cambridge, MA

"It's official... the Laptop Lunch is a hit!!! My 7 year-old daughter loves it so much and so do I. I appreciate the positive environmental impact we are going to have, the much better meals I can prepare/serve and well, it's just darn nifty! We will be telling everyone about this fab invention!"

        --Andie, Livermore, CA

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