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August 2005

Laptop Lunch Times: August 2005

The Laptop Lunch Times

August 2005

Help us help you!

Please place your orders early this year! Many schools are scheduled to open before Labor Day, and we want you to receive your order in time.

As summer begins to wind down, many of us will be embarking on that long-awaited end-of-summer vacation. So this month we've decided to include some handy travel menus. Packing your Laptop Lunch for travel gives you the freedom to say 'no' to those high-fat, high-sodium airline snacks, and it gives you the strength to pass by the beckoning fast food restaurants along the road. Make the most of these last days of summer and remember to take the extra time to feed your body properly.

Amy and Tammy

In this issue, you'll find:

  • Monthly Menu
  • Handy Travel Menus

  • Green Opportunities
  • New Retailers
  • 4 Tips for Eco-friendly Organizing
  • Interval World Magazine: Let's Do Lunch
  • Featured Web site:
  • What works...Success Stories
Laptop Lunch Photo with Food

Monthly Menu

Handy Travel Menus

Try some of these quick travel menus when you're on the road this summer--and beyond!

#1: In-flight Flavor

  • Steamed vegetables
  • Brown rice
  • Tamari-roasted almonds (not recommended for younger children)
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Teriyaki sauce

#2: Fast Food Favorite

  • Avocado, tomato, cucumber and hummus on a franchese roll
  • Dried fruit medley (Try apricots, cranberries, apples, peaches, raisins, prunes, pineapple, and pears.)
  • Popcorn (not recommended for younger children)
  • Fresh green beans and baby carrots
  • Thousand island dressing

#3: Anywhere Meal

  • Baked tofu with lettuce, tomato, and pesto on a sweet French or whole wheat roll
  • Fresh sugar snap peas
  • Yogurt
  • Banana chips
  • Dried unsweetened coconut (shredded)

Green Opportunities

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

  • Got a solar powered calculator? Visit E Magazine's Earth Talk column at to find out what other solar-powered accessories and gadgets are growing in popularity and where you can purchase them.

  • Sustainable Table (, which provides information about sustainably-produced food, has just launched its Summer Picnic section. Here are a few fun facts:

  • • The health benefits of watermelon

    Watermelon is an ideal health food because it is 92% water, doesn’t contain any fat or cholesterol, and is a great source of vitamins A, B6, beta-carotene, not to mention the cancer-preventing antioxidant, lycopene. Although many only think of watermelon as a juicy dessert treat, it can also be chopped, grilled, pureed, and added in as a delicious and sweet ingredient to many recipes.

    • Hot dogs—history and ingredients

    In 1957, the US Chamber of Commerce designated July National Hot dog Month. Each year, 2 billion hot dogs are eaten in that month alone. But did you know that in a seven-year study of a multi-ethnic range of 190,545 men and women, those who regularly consumed processed meats had a 67% higher risk of developing colon and pancreatic cancer? Though the study did not explicitly point the finger at sodium nitrite (a key ingredient of most hot dogs) as the culprit, cancer research from the Cancer Prevention Coalition does. According to their research, during the cooking process, nitrites combine with amines to form carcinogenic compounds.

    • Tips for creating healthy, cool beverages

    Trying to stay hydrated without resorting to sodas filled with high fructose corn syrups? A great way to get your fizzy drink without the sugar load is by mixing fresh or 100% fruit juice with seltzer water or sparkling mineral water. Iced tea—herbal, black, or decaf—is always a refreshing and healthy option. Although studies have shown that the antioxidants in tea can reduce the amount of iron absorbed from plant sources (though iron absorption from animal products is not affected), simply squeezing some lemon into your tea can counteract this effect.

  • The Vegetarian Resource Group has just printed the 4th edition of Vegetarian Journal's Guide to Natural Foods Restaurants in the United States and Canada. The 432-page book (over 2,200 listings) makes a great gift for yourself, friends, relatives, or libraries. Order five copies before the end of June, and they'll send them to you at half price and include a sixth free copy. And they'll pay postage in the United States. (One copy = $18. Six copies = $45.) Order by calling 410-366-8343, sending a check or money order to The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203, or visit their Web site at, specifying in the notes if you want the limited offer.

  • Don't forget to spend meaningful time with your kids on National KidsDay, Sunday, August 7. Forget your hectic schedule; do something fun with the family instead. Visit the National KidsDay Web site at for information on events in your area and activities you can do as a family. National KidsDay was established in 2001 by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and KidsPeace and is held annually on the first Sunday in August.

  • If you're planning a wedding this year, check out,,, or for green wedding ideas.

New Retailers

We're pleased to announce that Laptop Lunch products are now available at these fine stores. Please pass this news on to friends and family in the area!

Honest Weight Food Co-op
484 Central Avenue
Albany, NY 12206

Telephone: (518) 482-2667

Hopscotch Kids
352 Miller Avenue
Mill Valley, CA 94941

Telephone: (415) 381-9858

Mirador Community Store
2106 SE Division Street
Portland, OR 97202

Telephone: (503) 231-5175

Roy's Nutrition
130 Preston Royal Shopping Center
Dallas, TX 75230

Telephone: (214) 987-0213

Sign of the Times
112 Main Street
Nyack, NY 10960

Telephone: (845) 353-4059

4 Tips for Eco-Friendly Organizing

Simplify your life while being environmentally responsible!

by Joshua Zerkel

Getting organized can be a fantastic way to simplify and streamline your busy life. The process of getting organized can involve weeding through (and discarding) some of the belongings that have been keeping you from living how you want to live, and finding other products that can help you live in a more comfortable, effective way. Tossing some things out while also potentially getting new things may seem to be at odds with eco-friendly living, but there ARE ways to be eco-friendly while getting organized. Here are four things to keep in mind:

1. Repurpose what you have. Before getting rid of your stuff, see if you can use what you have in new and different ways. Turn things on their sides, take them to different rooms, and match things up in unusual ways. For instance, an extra bowl from the kitchen can make a great "key-catcher" by the front door. Checkbook boxes transform into drawer dividers, and plastic trays that fancy chocolate comes in are great for organizing earrings. Another example: I have a client who is a scrapbook artist. We used transparent plastic bins to store her supplies, which were functional but not very attractive. Instead of buying new bins, we used some of her extra decorative paper to line the bins and hide the contents. Look around your space - what can you use differently?

2. Buy eco-friendly products. You may need to buy specialized organizing products, such as desk accessories, drawer dividers, and other things that will help you get and stay organized. Stores such as Good Girl Goods ( and the Container Store ( carry many products that are made from recycled or natural materials. Consider products that will make it easier for you to recycle, such as sorters that can help you separate glass, paper, compost, etc.

3. Store the right way. Store your items in a way that will best preserve them. First, make sure you have the right containers. If you're storing photos or documents, choose acid-free boxes, not plastic bins. Keep clothes in a sealed container, not in a suitcase. Second, be conscious of the location where things are stored. Keep issues such as moisture, light, and temperature fluctuations in mind. A damp garage isn't the right spot for paper, and a bookshelf in direct sunlight will quickly fade your precious photos.

4. Discard responsibly. After weeding through your stuff, you'll probably be left with lots of things that need to find new homes and some that can be recycled. When working with clients, I usually recommend that they get rid of things in this order: sell, donate, and recycle. Items of value can be sold on eBay (, Craigslist (, at a garage sale, or in your local paper. Call your favorite charities and see what items they are accepting - frequently charities will come and pick up your donations for you, saving you time. Items that are left over after selling or donating can often be given away via Freecycle ( Finally, the items that have no value to you or others can be responsibly recycled.

Simplifying and organizing your life while being environmentally responsible is possible! When embarking on your next organizing project, keep these four tips in mind. You'll be able to feel good about taking steps toward living the life you want in an eco-friendly way.

Joshua Zerkel, Organizing Expert, helps busy people save time, space and money by getting organized at home and at work. For more FREE organizing ideas, visit or call 415-830-8297.

© 2005 Joshua Zerkel and Custom Living Solutions. All Rights Reserved.

Summer 2005

Let's Do Lunch

While trimming costs, many airlines have cut in-flight meals from all but a few itineraries. Admittedly, less airline food is probably for the better; still, a case of the munchies at 35,000 feet is tough to sate without a ready source of sustenance--and a place to put it. Enter Obentec's Laptop Lunch System (, which measures just 11 1/2 inches wide by 8 inches high by 3 inches deep. An insulated carrying case houses a main container (designed to fit airplane tray tables) that holds five food organizers--perfect for keeping your food court-bought roast beef sandwich and chef's salad from ever mingling. For $34, you also get a water bottle, fork, spoon, and some recipes. Mini-pretzels not included.

Reprinted From Interval World Magazine

What Works...Success Stories

  • "My kids totally love their Laptop Lunches. They love the little servings of fruits and the box with yogurt. Even the box pack looks slick. Thanks for such a handsome product without commercialized animations on them."

       -- Sanjana Kapur

  • "My 4 year old has used your laptop box for the past year. We've had many comments about the clever design. It is very handy & I like avoiding the disposable plastic."

       -- Mary Thorstad, Nashville, TN

  • "We love our Laptop Lunchboxes. They are now my standard gift to friends and family. And we never take a car trip without them! My six year old daughter would like you to consider pink for your next new color!"

       --Michele DeCroix, Los Alamos, NM

  • "Thank you for the lunchboxes." Daniel, age 11

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

Featured Web Site:


Every month people who work in the environmental field meet up for a drink at informal sessions known as Green Drinks.

Green Drinks is a lively mixture of people from NGOs, academia, government, and business. Just show up and say, "are you green?" and they promise they'll look after you and introduce you to whoever is there. It's a great way to make new contacts and catch up with people you know. Everyone invites someone else along, so there’s always a different crowd, making Green Drinks an organic, self-organizing network.

These events are very simple and unstructured, but many people have found employment, made friends, developed new ideas, made deals, and had moments of serendipity. They're pleased with what they've seen so far, and they're hoping that Green Drinks will spread to other cities. Contact your local node to get the latest info.

You can also email [email protected] if you want some tips on how to set up Green Drinks in your city.



September Highlights

Fresh Sandwich Ideas, Green Opportunities, Where Simplicity and Sustainability Meet, and Tips for Healthy Schools.

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

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© August 2005 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."