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December 2007

Laptop Lunch Times: December 2007

December 2007

In this issue, you'll find:

  • From Our Desk to Yours...
  • Favorite Photo
  • Grab and Go Lunches
  • Green Opportunities
  • Laptop Lunches in the News
  • New Retailers
  • Meal Planning Made Easy
  • What works...Success Stories
  • Featured Web site:

From Our Desk to Yours...

GREEN FESTIVAL NEWS: The San Francisco Green Festival was a fantastic success this year! We met lots of inspirational lunchmakers, families, vendors, and even a few customers who have been using Laptop Lunches since our initial launch in 2002. Thanks for stopping by, for introducing yourself, for purchasing Laptop Lunch products, and for subscribing to our newsletter. If you're a new Laptop Lunch-er, welcome aboard!

Laptop Lunches at Green Festival San Francisco

The Laptop Lunches Booth

Laptop Lunches Team at Green Festival 2007

Tammy, Amy, Kate, and Tamara
at the San Francisco Green Festival

PHOTO CONTEST: A big thank you to those who have submitted photos for our exciting new project! If you haven't had a chance to send in your photo yet, please be sure to do so before the December 31st deadline. For submission guidelines, please visit our Web site at If your photo is selected, you'll be eligible to win a free Laptop Lunches gift. Don't be shy!

PINK LAPTOP LUNCH SYSTEMS AND CARRYING CASES: We're very happy to announce that the pink Laptop Lunch Systems and carrying cases will be back in stock on December 10th. If you've pre-ordered, expect to receive an order confirmation on December 6th or 7th. If you've not yet ordered and would like to, please give us a call at 831-457-0301.

EXTRA DIP CONTAINERS AVAILABLE: Due to our first-ever manufacturing overrun, we have a surplus of dip containers that we are selling for $2.00 each plus shipping. We also 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 will be available in a limited number of colors while supplies last. PLEASE NOTE THAT WE DO NOT HAVE ANY INDIVIDUAL LARGE LIDDED CONTAINERS AVAILABLE.

MABEL'S LABELS: Worried about losing your Laptop Lunch containers? Mabel's Labels offers colorful dishwasher-safe labels at Great stocking stuffer!

Amy and Tammy

Got a favorite photo to share?

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

Healthy Picnic



  • Smart Dog on a whole wheat bun
  • baked tortilla chips
  • carrots
  • apples
  • homemade cookie

"I bought a couple of Laptop Lunch boxes after seeing them on the Vegan Lunch Box blog in early 2006. My daughter, Maya, is a vegetarian, so I have to pack her lunch every day. Today was a school picnic that featured: hot dogs, chips, carrots, apples, & cookies, so I packed her a healthier veggie version. This isn't the most exciting lunch I've packed in her Laptop Lunch Box, but I thought it was fun to be able to match hers to what was being served. Thanks!"

        -- Mary Henry & Maya Henry-Maingi

Grab and Go Lunches

Short on time this holiday season? Don't skimp on lunchtime nutrition. Try putting together these grab and go lunches instead.

  • Spelt Pretzels
  • Fresh Organic Figs
  • Hard-boiled Eggs
  • Fresh Garden Tomatoes
Grab and Go Lunch

  • Yogurt
  • Home-made Trail Mix
  • Fresh Organic Grapes
  • Baby Carrots
Grab and Go Lunch

Green Opportunities

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

  • LUNCHMAKING BLOGS: "HIS" – If you're looking for some clever and thoughtful lunches, check out Ironjack's great lunch blog with lots of inspirational photos. Ironjack's blog chronicles the lunches he creates for his wife and her coworkers. The idea for the project came to him when he stumbled upon the Laptop Lunches Web site and purchased 7 Laptop Lunches. He strives for healthy, glycemic index friendly lunches. Each blog entry features a photograph and a complete description of the contents, including tips, trials, and tribulations. Check it out at

  • LUNCHMAKING BLOG: "HERS" – This mom of three and self proclaimed foodie and environmentalist is on an ambitious quest to get her children to eat and enjoy something slightly more nutritious than the typical meal served in a school cafeteria or fast food restaurant. She makes her lunches as waste-free as possible and prepares them with foods that are grown or raised locally. She was inspired to start this blog after grieving for the old Vegan Lunchbox Blog, her most favorite blog of all time. She insists that she lacks Jennifer McCann's ingenuity and her kids are not adventurous in their eating, but she's doing it in her own "better-than-a-lunchable"-way. You'll find Jeanine's blog at

  • THE DIRT ON ANTIBACTERIAL SOAPS – Ads for antibacterial soaps, detergents, and other cleaning products can make you feel like your home is a germ-infested mess. But regular use of these products may not be as effective as you may think. Read what Consumer Reports has to say at

  • REAL MAMA – Real Mama, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation founded by four women.  Their aim is to share information about environmental issues and the relationship between environmental issues and children's health and wellness.  If you'd like to subscribe to their quarterly newsletter or read their articles, visit their Web site at Sample topics include:
Real Mama
  • MERCURY IN FLU VACCINES – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that almost everyone, including pregnant women, get flu vaccinations this flu season. However, few of the 130 million people receiving this vaccination each year realize that most flu shots contain harmful dosages of mercury. About 80% of all flu shots distributed in the United States contain a mercury-based preservative called thimerosal. If you're getting a flu shot this season, you may want to consider requesting a thimerosal-free vaccination, which costs roughly $4 more to manufacture and distribute. Learn more at

  • Laptop Lunches in the News

    Green Talk

    Meet “The Low Impact” Lunch

    By Green Talk

    "Many of us pack lunches every day whether it is yours or your children’s. Probably you pack a sandwich in a plastic bag, chips, and juicy box or plastic water bottle in a lead laden lunch box. Maybe you will need some silverware to go with that salad or fruit cup you packed in your brown paper bag. When you or your children are done with your lunches, what is the next thing you do? That’s right; all those plastic bags, aluminum foil, silverware, paper bags, and wax paper, end up in the trash can. Subsequently, all that waste ends up in landfills. A plastic bag takes 450 years to decompose. So how do we provide “greener” lunches for us as well as our families? First step is reducing the lunchroom waste." [Read the rest of the story at] And an article on eco-fundraising at

    Canadian Parents

    Eating Outside the Box. Even when lunch is packed in one!

    By Lisa Borden

    The stuff in our kids' lunches...

    "...processed or perishable, essential or treat - is conveniently available everywhere 24/7. Don't bother denying you haven't done your family grocery shopping at Shoppers Drug Mart like the rest of us!

    Our packaged world comes to us at an undeniable cost. School Lunches contribute significantly to our huge stream of waste. Believe it or not, our precious little ones create an average of 67 pounds of waste just from lunches alone. I could start by preaching about how detrimental the actual packaging is to our environment, about paper depleting our forests, about plastics and pollution. Instead, as a mother, I focus on my kids' health, teaching them the right lessons now, helping them to make their own good decisions and inspire others." [Read the rest of the story at]

    Boston Mamas

    Losing your Lunch Rut

    "If you – like pretty much every parent I know – need help losing your lunch rut, check out the Laptop Lunch System, which offers the physical structure and information to encourage balanced, eco-minded eating. Including a lead-free case, bento box tray, water bottle, utensils, and nutrition/recipe guide, the 4 colorful bento boxes (+ sauce/dip container) remind you to include a mix of food groups, offer flexibility (remove boxes to make room for a larger item), and are dishwasher safe, making reusability and waste reduction a breeze. Offered in four styles (shown, Whimsical), this system works for adults and kids alike (for kids, you need not fill every container depending on your kid’s eating patterns)." [Read the rest of the story at:]

    New Retailers

    Twig, Village Plaza
    99 South Elliot Road #1
    Chapel Hill, NC 27514
    (919) 929-TWIG (8944)
    Walking Stick Toys
    829 S. Higgins Avenue
    Missoula, MT 59801
    (406) 543-1179

    308 South Rose Avenue
    Kannapolis, NC 28083
    (704) 298-4432
    Whole Foods
    20955 Stevens Creek Blvd.
    Cupertino, CA 95014
    (408) 257-7000

    Toronto, Canada
    (416) 462-1140

    emagineGreen, LLC
    14354 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd., Suite 4 Scottsdale, AZ 85260
    (480) 477-5763

    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.

    Recipes In Your Inbox - Meal Planning Made Easy

    By Michelle Stern, Founder and Owner of What's Cooking

    Many of us take our kids to the local farmers' market for a bag of kettle corn and a bounce in the jumpy house. But as we walk through the aisles, enjoying the flavors and colors of the seasonal produce, we wonder how to add these treasures to our daily dinner routine.
    Michelle Stern

    We fantasize about how easy life would be if only someone would provide us with nutritious dinner menus, recipes, and possibly even a shopping list. We imagine what life would be like without the grocery store shuffle – going up and down the aisles, then returning to fetch various forgotten items.

    Fortunately, parents do have access to a variety of tools designed to help busy families put healthy meals on the table. Take-out menus and meal assembly facilities are two familiar options. But a third and more exciting option is now available: online recipe subscription services. This option addresses the biggest obstacle head on: lack of time. It takes time to plan healthy meals, to write a thorough grocery list, and to cook elaborate meals. And what about finding quality time with our children?

    What’s Cooking Weekly offers a subscription-based recipe service. We send subscribers a weekly e-mail with a summary of the week’s meals and a reminder to login to access the recipes and shopping lists. Subscription costs vary, depending on the length of the subscription. 

    We not only emphasize the importance of bringing kids into the kitchen to help prepare family meals, but we provide tips for accomplishing this in a fun and simple way. Our online menu planning service includes these features:

    • Healthy recipes
    • Seasonal ingredients
    • Recipes for main dishes, sides and vegetables
    • Organized grocery lists
    • Nutrition labels for all recipes
    • Tips for getting your children involved

    What's Cooking Online Recipe Service

    According to Real Simple magazine, “online dinner-strategy services…manage to alleviate the stress of deciding what to make for dinner.”

    Laptop Lunch Newsletter Subscribers will receive a 10% DISCOUNT on their
    What’s Cooking Weekly subscription at To take advantage of this offer, use coupon code: Eat_Well when checking out.

    What’s Cooking is a Certified Green business that offers healthy and seasonal cooking classes and birthday parties to children of all ages in the San Francisco Bay Area. In our online shop you’ll find unique sustainable gifts and party favors as well as What’s Cooking Weekly, our menu service offering recipes, grocery lists and tips on making cooking with your kids fun and simple.

    What Works...Success Stories

    "My daughter hates eating. (She can barely sit still long enough to take a bite of anything). I bought this lunch box yesterday at Whole Foods and presented her with a picnic lunch today at the park. She was so excited about the presentation and sat long enough to eat a regular portion. All her friends were envious and wanted to eat out of her containers, even though they had the same foods in baggies! The parents were amazed as well, and I pointed them in the direction of Whole Foods. Clean up was so easy too. Thanks for making a great quality product."

            -- Allison Graves, Santa Monica, CA

    "I found out about you through a post on a message board. I work at school and have a mini fridge in my room. I was using ziploc and glad brand plasticware but found them hard to fit in the dishwasher and was always losing covers! Despite what the ads claim, they are also a pain to store. I ordered a laptop lunchbox for myself and one for my teenage daughter. She can't wait to come up with interesting lunches, especially after we looked at all the pictures on your Web site. I even went and got a rice cooker because it looks like fun. I also have Celiacs disease and sandwiches are tough when you have to eat gluten free. Most GF bread isn't very good. Thanks! It almost makes me glad school starts soon!"

            -- Tammy Hoermann, Middlesex, VT

    "I love this lunch box! I have been bringing healthier lunches to work and losing weight. My son saw what I was doing, and now he wants me to make him lunch for school: no more cafeteria food! I can't believe he will voluntarily give up pizza for carrots and cucumbers, but we shall see. Keep up the good work! :-)"

           -- Katherine Moss, Poestenkill, NY

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

    Featured Web Site:

    BAN works to prevent peoples or environments from being disproportionately poisoned and polluted due to the dictates of unbridled market forces and trade. In particular, they are working to eliminate the exportation of toxic waste from rich to poorer countries by promoting clean production and the reduction of toxics use.

    What Does BAN Do?

    Definitive Source of Information on Toxic Trade – BAN is an information clearinghouse on the subject of waste trade. BAN maintains the definitive website on international toxic trade (, sends out an E-mail newsletter and electronic action alerts. BAN serves as toxic trade media center, regularly working in coalition with other groups to hold press events. BAN is also a regular contributor to various journals and international publications.

    E-waste in China

    International Policy Advocacy – BAN is recognized by the United Nations Environment Program as the leading organization dedicated exclusively to issues of “toxic trade” and as such, is invited regularly to participate as NGO experts and stakeholders in internal meetings and policy deliberations. BAN has also worked closely with the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the UNEP Chemicals Program and Governing Council. BAN works with country allies in these meetings to secure commitments and decisions in support of their mission. BAN has also produced Model National Legislation on toxic waste trade for developing countries.

    Research and Investigations – BAN conducts field investigations in developing countries as well as providing groundbreaking photographic and video documentation of toxic trade. Recently BAN produced its first documentary film on global e-waste dumping. It has been distributed widely and is still in high demand.

    Campaigns – BAN engages with NGO organizations around the globe in campaigns to counter any form of toxic trade. This type of coalition campaigning is an exciting and effective means to help educate the public via the mass media and to empower NGOs globally.

    E-Waste Stewardship Project – This program ensures that exports of hazardous electronic waste (Particularly from the US) to developing countries are eliminated and replaced with producer responsibility and green design programs and legislation.

    Green Shipbreaking – This helps to ensure that all hazardous materials are removed from US government ship reserve vessels prior to export or are processed domestically.

    Zero Mercury Campaign – This aim of this project is to work toward an internationally binding treaty on mercury pollution, to eliminate its extraction, use, trade and recycling, and to promote permanent storage and alternative uses. Work is particularly focused on eliminating surplus mercury trade to developing countries.

    Basel Ban Ratification – BAN works to promote Basel Ban Amendment Ratifications globally and to prevent the weakening of this amendment. In the United States, we insist on dual ratification of the Ban simultaneous with the treaty and work to prevent efforts to undermine this landmark agreement.

    January Highlights

    Junk Food Alternatives, Green Opportunities, and Zero Waste


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

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    © December 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."