ECOlunchbox is based in Lafayette, CA and was founded by eco-mom, Sandra Harris in 2009. We had the pleasure of meeting Sandra and asking her about the wonderful company she has built over the years.
Sandra: “When I first started to think about starting a company to offer a plastic-free, waste-free lunch alternative, people thought I was nuts! They seriously thought I was living way to close to Berkeley and I had eaten too much granola. They just didn’t get it! More and more, people over the last 6 years have come to learn and understand that there are a lot of environmental contaminants. And plastic, fortunately, is one that we can reduce our dependence on.”
It’s relatively well known now that BPA (Bisphenol A, a thyroid-disrupting chemical) found in plastic containers can leach into our foods and drinks and mimic our natural hormones, wrecking havoc on our bodies. This has also been linked to an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, and cancer. Though many plastic products claim to be BPA-free, they actually contain an alternative chemical called BPS (Bisphenol S), which isn’t much different. The best option for your health, as well as the health of the planet, is to go with stainless steel and silicone.
Sandra, you not only promote sustainability by selling your eco-friendly products at ECOlunchbox, but also by responsibly making your products. Tell us about your stunning, fair trade block print fabrics.
Sandra: “I’ve visited India several times and it’s just really inspiring to spend time with the printers and to see them practicing their craft that dates back a thousand years. In India, as many parts of the world, people are turning toward massed produced garments out of China. So the demand for these textiles that have been produced for centuries in India is really drying up. It makes me feel good that ECOlunchbox can continue to support these ancient traditions through the purchase of the fabrics for our lunch bags.”
ECOlunchbox put together a study to determine the amount of money wasted on waste. What were the results from the Lunch Study?
Sandra: “What we found is that if two kids and one adult packing lunch Monday-Friday, just during the school year, and they’re using throw-aways, they generate about 4,320 pieces of trash. And the cost of that trash, not the food, just the trash, is more than $450 a year.”
To see the breakdown, check out the Lunch Study chart on the ECOlunchbox website here: http://ecolunchboxes.com/lunchstudy
What’s the newest product from ECOlunchbox?
Sandra: “Recently we introduced a new contemporary line called the Blue Water Bento Collection and we have a Splash Box that has a stainless steel bottom and silicone lid. So it offers all the positive benefits of the rest of our line, being healthy for the people and planet and plastic-free, but now they can also enjoy leak-free bentos. I wanted to tie the name of this new collection into the issues that are going on in the Pacific Ocean and the great Pacific garbage patch. So we’re envisioning our Blue Water Bento being healthy for our oceans.”
A group of students from the Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco conducted a study utilizing an EPA formula to calculate the waste aversion from the ocean as a result of replacing throw-aways with ECOlunchbox products. The study indicates that ECOlunchbox “annually offsets the CO2 equivalent of 2.5 million pounds of coal burned, the carbon sequestered by 58,000 tree seedlings, and 5.4 million miles driven.”
Just goes to show that making one small change in your everyday routine makes a significant impact. Not to mention, these durable, re-usable containers and bags are much more stylish and fun than single use plastic baggies!
To learn more about ECOlunchbox and to find their products, visit: www.ecolunchboxes.com
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