ENVIRONMENT, Simple Switches

Litterless Lunchbox – (yogurt)

One less item in my daughters lunch box that goes to the recycling bin.

Lately I have stopped purchasing those individual yogurt containers and fill a small one up for her to bring to school. This simple switch was easier than I thought! She had no qualms about not having the cute flashy packaging, I have no qualms about the extra little cup to wash. So what is the deal – why did it take so long for me to do this? I was the one who did the shopping and made the decision that she would be more likely to eat it if she had a lunch that looked like her friends. I decided when I was shopping that it would be convenient. She still eats her yogurt everyday, it takes me a few extra seconds to pack it in her lunch box and wash it at the end of the day (I am washing dishes anyway).

By doing this: There is one less plastic container in the school recycling bin each day.

By doing this: I save in cost as the packs usually cost more.

By doing this: One by one it will gradually influence others in their choices. The more common it is to have people do this the better.

Update: One thing I changed since then is sending the small mason jars for things like the yogurt and fruit cups. My daughter actually thinks these are super cute and enjoys using them! I can’t believe it took me so long to use them for this reason because I have them already and have been using them for spices and small food storage for a while now. I guess thinking that she was so young I was nervous sending the weight plus the glass into school with her. She is getting older now and more responsible with things like that.  Those mason jars are quite thick and the small ones are pretty light.  They do sell silicone covers if I am ever so inclined.



Cliques – it is something that we all deal with in school.  It even follows us into adulthood.  If you are like I am someone who is an HSP it can be very difficult.

The Buddy Bench is about creating an opportunity for inclusion and eliminating loneliness. It is a simple idea to create awareness and empathy in the playground. Awareness of your play or classmates. To pay attention to others around you and be kind to each other.

They have these new Buddy Benches at my girl’s School.  I think about this topic a lot.  Even before she began school I worried about how she is treating others and being treated at school.  Luckily she turned out to be an outgoing, caring and sensitive child and so far in he primary years she is thriving.  That can all change and so I am a very watchful parent.

While the Buddy Bench disturbs me a bit I also think that it is a great project.  It also brings about a lot of discussion about bullying, peer pressure, and cliques.  The hope is that it will create an opportunity for kids to see and engage each other in activities.  There is so much that goes on unnoticed by parents and teachers.

We talk about bullying in the framework one or more kids intimidating another(s).  It is so much more.  I think we have to realize that there is a difference between being bullied and feeling left out or just someone being mean and inconsiderate. These overlap but we can still look at them separately.

Cliques – are groups of friends that leave others out, leaving no room for other interactions.  They make it hard for others to be part of a group.  It can be for different reasons that a clique forms but the result may be the same.  Feelings are hurt.  Sometimes people act differently when they are part of a group and that can be confusing.

“Why are they acting like they don’t know me? Yesterday they were smiling and friendly towards me”.

Everyone handles these situations differently and we have to look at different personality types and consider that while some are OK doing things on there own and are content with quiet spaces others are not.  Introversion and Extroversion.

How do we teach kindness and empathy to our children.  It is not something you can learn in a week long lesson plan.  It is an ongoing process that needs to be encouraged. Values that need to be instilled as they grow.

Whether it is parent, other family members, friends we need to live what we teach – do what we say ourselves. Hopefully they will live by example.

Acts of kindness and inclusion are contagious!





ENVIRONMENT, Litterless Lunches

The search for a better way to lunch

I have been packing school lunches for a while now – packing picnics and road food along the way. Lunches are five days a week of course but picnics and on the go snacks have not been my strong point.  It seems we are always in a rush and food always gets packed poorly – by the time we are ready to eat it just never seems appetizing. It is a mindset that we need to be better acquainted with.  That and a better system of packing that is economical, Eco-friendly and easily put together plus easy/fun to maintain.  Robins lunch bag is pretty good. She has a couple but I usually use the Lands End one because it is better insulated. Often it is still cool inside when I unpack it at the end of the day – the cooler pack is still partially frozen sometimes which I find amazing and comforting since it sits in her backpack in between eating times. It is an important feature not only for the freshness and healthy eating reasons but also to keep he lunch appetizing. Who wants to eat fruit that is warm and siting in condensation juice or brown apples slices.

When it comes to packing I use plastic baggies less and less.  I send her in with a water bottle that she refills at the water station at school. I used to give her juice boxes but even that seemed like a waste to be. I cringe at the amount of juice containers in the blue boxes when I am at the school.  Drinking less juice too is good when you consider the amount of sugar.   That way when she had it at home or while we are out it is not a big deal. we currently use a variety of plastic snap lock containers but I would even like to move away from those. The plastic gets scratched and discoloured over time and even though it is BPA free they must begin to degrade and leech something into your food?  The production of plastic also has a huge impact on the environment. The toxins that are released…

Glass is heavy and not to mention breakable -probably not the best choice for a 7 year old’s backpack. Right now I find the weight pretty good. She has an agenda, lunch, usually  a sweater or extra gloves or hat in the winter, something she wants to show the class or a toy to use at recess….So i have been looking for steel food containers.