Thursday, June 6, 2013

Being Green with Lunch: Review and Giveaway

Bianca factoid: I'm the daughter of an environmental engineer. 
And then I married a plastics engineer. Read on to see how these tidbits relate to each other.

Post factoid: Are you ready to learn something new? I hope you are! I did my best to research each point included in this post, but if you find something lacking / incorrect / want clarification, please let me know. Also, are you ready for a TRIPLE giveaway??!!!

I'm pretty sure that most people will agree with me on this one - plastic has over run our world.

Ok, so that was a pretty broad statement. But have you noticed that (in the US) everything comes in plastic packaging? Sure, it's cheaper. Most of it claims to be recyclable, but that is a little misleading.  Most consumers don't know is that food grade plastic actually gets "downcycled," meaning it cannot be recycled into the same plastic product.  So your recycled milk jug won't become another jug. It might become plastic decking or a Green Toy.

When my husband and I were on our babymoon to Europe in 2010, we noticed that so many things were packaged in glass containers. Even personal sized yogurts came in adorable glass containers.

source
Starting when we moved in together, one way that I helped stretch our dollars was to pack lunches for us every day. Even though we saved a lot of money by not going out to eat every day (and ate healthier too), I quickly realized just how disposable our lunch world is. Each item was typically put into it's own Ziploc or plastic container. Sandwich baggies were used one time, even though they were perfectly fine for another use. But doing so seemed so...hippy. And isn't it a little ridiculous that you buy these one time use items just to throw away a few hours later? I began to research more "green" and sustainable options.



Bags
A lot of us are already greening our lunches by having a reusable bag or lunch box that we use to carry our food in. This is a much better option over a plastic grocery bag, or even the brown lunch bag, as it is friendlier on the environment and saves money in the long run.  Lisu, from LeLa Studio shared one of her super stylish lunch bags with me and I am so in love with it. It's a very well made bag with a nice metal zipper and is insulated to keep my lunch cold. I also can stuff quite a bit in there! These bags come in a variety of pretty patterns.  It's also gone to work with Adam many times and works part time as Penny's snack carrier when we're out and about.

This giveaway is over - thanks to all for entering! 
Keep an eye out for more Pierogie Mama Giveaways.


Sandwich bags
Sandwich baggies are another one of those silly one-time-use items that in reality can be used multiple times but so few of us care to clean and dry them after their use. The good news is that sandwich baggies are recyclable (recycle them along with your plastic grocery bags at your local supermarket) and Ziploc recently partnered with Recycle Bank to encourage consumers to recycle their bags by offering rewards points.

But that doesn't really solve the problem, does it? So here are my two choices for ridding my house of sandwich baggies.
  • For wet, messy lunch items (like cottage cheese and canned fruit.. yum!) I like to use high quality plastic containers or glass.
  • For everything else - from sandwiches, cut up fruits or veggies to chips - I've been loving these awesome zippered reusable sandwich baggies from Baby's Growing Up Green
These reusable bags come in two sizes - handy sandwich and a bigger quart size. They're double layered with a cute print on the outside and food safe vinyl on the inside - so even if you put a bunch of freshly washed grapes inside, it won't leak and get your sandwich wet in another bag! I love the zipper feature for two reasons - it's easier to keep clean than velcro (half of our cloth diaper stash is velcro and picking lint out of the teeth is a biiiiig pet peeve of mine!) and offers a more securely closed container than velcro does. I've even been able to fill it with chips the night before and store my husband's lunch in the fridge overnight and they were still perfectly crunchy the next day.

This giveaway is over - thanks to all for entering! 
Keep an eye out for more Pierogie Mama Giveaways.



Drink Containers
Nowadays there are a ton of options for carrying your drinks. Sometimes it seems like the cheapest and easiest way is just to buy a pack of bottled water from your local grocery and pack it daily. Again, we feel good about ourselves because the plastic or glass bottle is listed as recyclable but is it really necessary to have these be one time use?

As a breastfeeding mother, drinking water is absolutely essential but honestly is really difficult for me - I get so bored with it quickly! When I was pregnant, I asked my midwife is drinking tea counts as hydrating - to which she smiled at me and said no. Drink water, she said. Well drinking water is reaaaaaally hard for me! I even started trying to trick myself by heating plain water and just dunking a slice of lemon in it, to make myself feel like I was drinking tea. It worked for a while, but drinking a hot liquid is not a preferred option year round ;)

So when I came across the ZingAnything Citrus Zinger, I knew my hydration problem had been solved!

This unique water bottle features a "zinger" in the bottom of the bottle that allows you to infuse your water with a variety of citrus fruits like lemons, limes or clementines. The fruit is contained in a compartment that allows the water and some pulp to circulate, but you don't have to worry about slices of lemon slapping you in the face when you go for a drink.  Mix it up! You can use sparkling water, iced tea, add herbs such as ginger or mint, or a handful of berries too.

This giveaway is over - thanks to all for entering! 
Keep an eye out for more Pierogie Mama Giveaways.


Aren't these some great prizes? I hope you enjoyed reading about the topic and that you'll find these prizes interesting - I was pretty excited to share them with you! There are tons of daily entries so be sure to come back often and gain more points by extra tweets, pins and comments!

One final thought about packing a "green" lunch: start a little bit at a time. It's easier to make small changes over time than completely change course in one day. Be more mindful about single use items and see where you can make changes that work for you. Eventually it will add up and make a big difference!

I received products from each of the above sponsors to accurately facilitate this review. No other compensation was provided.

Giveaway rules:  This giveaway is in no way associated or sponsored by Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Open to US residents only, aged 18 and over. Winners will be contacted within 48 hours of the end of the giveaway via email. They have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen. The Pierogie Mama is not responsible for prize fulfillment, though I will advocate to make sure you receive it!

200 comments:

  1. We use reusable bags, glass water bottles and reusable cloths instead of paper towels.

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  2. We like to pack fruit and carrots.

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  3. I don't drink that much water at all sadly.

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  4. I love the Hot Pink Orange Diagonal Checker lunch bag print.

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  5. I love monkey prints, plaid, and argyle.

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  6. Any of the fruity water combinations. Maybe cucumber with a citrus fruit.

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  7. I like the citrus fruit combinations!!

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  8. This one! http://www.etsy.com/listing/117201617/insulated-lunch-bag-colorblock-women?ref=shop_home_active

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  9. Jem would love a dinosaur snack bag :)

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  10. I'd zing berries with lemonade!

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  11. Dr who fabric for the sandwich baggies

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  12. I would zing blackberry and lemon

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  13. Multi Colored Scalloped With White Flower Buckle
    Mandinav(at)aol(dot)com

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  14. Any bright and colorful prints are a hit here!

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  15. I love all the lunch bag colors, but probably Purple Lavender Mint Green Happy Garden the best. :)

    Angela Rhodes
    nofearpapertiger AT Gmail

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  16. I love this giveaway- we are always trying to be greener - great ways!

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  17. I carpool whenever possible to save money and the environment.

    Angela Rhodes
    nofearpapertiger AT Gmail

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  18. I would like to see more florals, plaids, paisleys, etc. from Baby's Growing Up Green

    Angela Rhodes

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  19. Favorite healthy snack to pack for lunch = fresh fruit and carrot sticks

    Angela Rhodes

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  20. Flavors interested in Zinging = watermelon, cherries, strawberries, pineapple, lemon, and orange.

    Angela Rhodes

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  21. I'm practically part camel - I drink a lot of water each day. :)

    Angela Rhodes

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  22. for the lunch bag I love the professional look of the Quited Olive Green with Rectangular Buckle

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  23. I like the Tiffany Blue Brown Polka Dot.

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  24. whimsical owl...or multicolored scalloped. theyre all so cute!

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  25. I did not know that sandwich bags could be recycled! (That makes them more recyclable in my area than, say, peanut butter jars. Our lousy recycling center won't take plastic or glass jars of any kind. Just bottles.)

    I would like to see damask sandwich bags!

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    1. Damask would be amazing, I totally agree! And that is really strange that your recycling center doesn't take plastic or glass jars.. That's sort of the whole point of recycling! Have you contacted your city?

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  26. I would be most likely to Zing plain old lemon.

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  27. I love the big brown polka dot lunch bag

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  28. I'd love to zing lemons because we have a whole tree waiting for use :)

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  29. I try to drink 64 ounces of water / day

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  30. I would like to see rainbow print!

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  31. We use reusable water bottles to save money and the environment

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  32. I would love to see ferrets, or maybe cats. I'm a sucker for small animal prints on anything!

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  33. For the zinger I would use watermelon. That has always been my favorite fruit. I imagine that it would go awesome with strawberries or raspberries.

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  34. I'd love to see a ladybug print from Baby's Growing Up Green!

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  35. I would most often use mint, lime, and sugar for the zinger! :-)

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  36. CIndy B (on rc/fb)http://www.etsy.com/listing/118009388/women-lunch-bag-insulated-lunch-bag?ref=shop_home_active

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  37. I would love to see Baby Goes Green do chevron or polka dot prints.

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  38. I would like to "zing" grapefruit with ginger and agave nectar

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  39. I love the Art Deco Mint Green Orange

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  40. Amour Brush Purple Flower is my favorite lunch bag! So cute!!

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  41. I like the fruit salad and the elephant prints for the bags :)!

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  42. The strawberry kiwi sounds really good!!

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  43. I love the mint green pinwheel lollipop design for the lunchbag!

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  44. I try to save money and the environment by using reusable bags, containers for lunches, waterbottles, recycling as much as I can

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  45. I am most interested in trying the lime water maybe with a little mint

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  46. I try to shoot for about 8 cups of water a day, but hardly ever make it :( I know I should do a lot better!

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  47. My favorite is the Purple Lavender Mint Green Happy Garden lunchbag! So cute!

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  48. I love the cupcake print sandwich bag, but would love to see polka dots & chevrons! Maybe bags customized with initals?

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  49. My favorite healthy snack to pack for lunch is any cut up fruit or veggies! For something crunchy, I got with roasted edamame.

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  50. I'm interested in "zinging" pineapple, mango and cherries!

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  51. I don't drink very much water a day. I'm trying very hard to change that, though! All my husband drinks is water so I'm trying to pick up his good habit!

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  52. Marisa Teeter
    Blue Whimsical Fruit Flower bag and strawberry lime water

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  53. I love the idea of this! I would try everything! Cucumber, pineapple, strawberries, watermelon, mint, and the classic lemon!

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  54. I like the brown and teal lunch bag best

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  55. I like the cute animal prints for the snack bags.

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  56. Women Lunch Bag, Insulated Lunch Bag, Girls Small Purse, Fabric Lunch Bag-Multi Colored Scalloped With White Flower Buckle

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  57. By using reusable products for leftovers and lunches.

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  58. I like the snack baggies with the different fruits on them.

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  59. Yogurt is my favorite healthy snack.

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  60. I'd like to try coconut flavored water.

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  61. I drink at ton of water a day. At least 3-16 oz bottles at work and several more at home and with dinner.

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  62. I love the blue and brown polka dot lunch bag, the elephant print reusable bags (was looking for dinosaurs). I would love to try Zinging orange and lemon lime water! Thanks for these opportunities!

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  63. Ginger lime water.
    Thanks for the contest.

    slehan at juno dot com

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  64. blue-black flower power, cloth diapers!

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  65. I like the hot pink and orange checked one.

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  66. I like fruit or carrots, yogurt, cheese sticks.

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  67. the brushstroke bag in blue brown and orange is so pretty

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  68. we use cloth paper towels, cloth diapers, and reusable bags for shopping and produce amoung other things

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  69. I'd love to see tractor prints!

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  70. we pack a lot of carrots and hummus!

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  71. What a fantastic post! I love this! All these products are a great step in our green direction! My downfall has always been paper towels, we are working with cloth ones now and I love it! Thank you for sharing this!

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  72. My daughter would love http://www.etsy.com/listing/112633354/women-lunch-bag-small-purse-insulated?ref=shop_home_active.

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  73. Purple Lavender Mint Green Happy Garden

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  74. I really like the brush stroke pattern one in sky blue, brown & mustard

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  75. I like the Red and Green Diagonal Checker.

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  76. I try to use up leftovers and make sure food doesn't go to waste.

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  77. I'd be interested in seeing more grown-up options. My daughter's getting older so I like versatile prints that she won't grow out of. I'm especially into feminine vintage fabrics & tribal/boho prints.

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  78. I like to pack seasonal fruit and veggies.

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  79. I drink a glass or two. I should drink more.

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  80. I like the tiffany blue brown polka dot lunch bag, super cute~

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  81. The fruit salad fruit bad is cute

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  82. Owls and deer for the fabric sandwich baggies.

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  83. I like the charcoal and light gray color block!

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  84. I like the pink with brown swirl lunch tote

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  85. I save money by not using the clothes dryer and line dry our clothes...it is amazing how many $$$$$$$ it saves you & helps to save the environment by not using the dryer!!!

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  86. would like to see more children's prints boy and girl

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  87. carrot sticks and ranch is a fun snack to pack

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  88. would love to zing strawberries and kiwi

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  89. I drink about 2 glasses of water per day

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  90. I like the Orange Brown Beige Checker lunch bag!

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  91. I would love to see simple patterns and bright colors from Babies Growing Up Green.

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  92. I would mostly zing lime or meyer lemons, but maybe some grapefruit!

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  93. I save money and the environment by using reusable canvas bags for grocery and retail shopping.

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  94. I drink a lot of water but I am not sure how much!

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  95. I love carrots and cucumber with hummus!

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  96. These lunch bags are so cute, I'd probably use it as a purse too! I love the Mint Green Chocolate Brown Wide Stripe pattern.

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  97. I'd love to see a snack bag with snowflakes or something girly like flowers. :)

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  98. Women Lunch Bag, Insulated Lunch Bag, Women Small Bag, Lunch Tote-Art Deco Mint Green Orange

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  99. my favorite one is the Purple Beige Ikat

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  100. Charcoal grey and red rose is my favorite!

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  101. At LeLa my favorite is the Brown/Aqua Blue Polka Bag.

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  102. I would try it with any of the berries we have in the garden. Strawberries, raspberries, Saskatoon, blueberry or currents. We also have mint in the garden which would go good with tea! :)

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  103. I'm not a big water drinker. I really have to push myself to drink it. Usually I flavor it. With the zinger it would be perfect for me!

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  104. I like the Blue green Dinosaur lunch bag.

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  105. I like the Blue Greem Dinosaur lunch bag.

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  106. I would like to see more kids' prints at Baby's Growing up Greeen

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  107. I would like to zing some mint water

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  108. Purple Lavender Mint Green Happy Garden was my favorite lunch purse :)

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  109. A print im interested in seeing is chevron with yellow inside for the bags

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  110. I really love the owls- I could have a million of them and be totally happy. :) Or anything in paisley!

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  111. I like the mint green pinwheel lollipop pattern for the reusable bag for my daughter to take her lunch to school!

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  112. What a great idea!

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  113. Love the red and white check with the ants on it!

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  114. I like the charcoal and red rose.

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  115. I would zing berries and lemon.

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  116. I drink as often as I'm thirsty - depends!

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  117. With all my kids I would have to choose the one bag with the Dinosaurs on it.

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  118. I am an Owl fanatic so I would be thrilled with the Owl Sandwich bags, if I were to win

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  119. I think I would like to try Zinging the Mango & Mint. Although the combinations are endless!

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  120. i really like the purple beige ikat lunch bag

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  121. I like the mint green pinwheel lollipop lunch bag here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/121673641/insulated-lunch-bag-girls-lunch-bag?ref=shop_home_active

    Thanks for the chance to win!

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  122. I apologize if this is a double post. I like the Mint Green Pinwheel Lollipop bag here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/121673641/insulated-lunch-bag-girls-lunch-bag?ref=shop_home_active

    Thanks for the chance to win!

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  123. I recycle junk mail, newspapers and magazines at our local recycle bin. I carry my own bags to the store. I walk whenever possible.

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  124. I would zing some raspberry into balsamic vinegar and olive oil salad dressing!

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  125. I love the Tote-Red Taupe Colorblock lunch bag

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  126. I like the yellow eco-friendly lunch bag

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  127. I would like to see smiley faces or rainbow prints.

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  128. Insulated Lunch Bag, Polka Dot Lunch Bag, Lunch Bag, Girls Lunch Bag, Work Lunch Tote-Tiffany Blue Brown Polka Dot

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  129. Flavors interested in zinging are watermelon, lemon and strawberries!

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  130. I drink about 32 oz of water per day but drink coffee all day long. I'm trying to drink more water, though!

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  131. I like the whimsical owl print

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  132. By using reusable products for lunches.

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  133. I love safari prints and chevron prints.

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  134. I love the Lunch Bag Insulated, Women Lunch Bag,Fabric Lunch Bag, Brush Stroke Pattern in Shades of Sky Blue, Brown and Mustard
    diesel_had_my_baby@yahoo.com

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  135. I save money by couponing, getting freebies and re-using everything possible.
    diesel_had_my_baby@yahoo.com

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  136. I like the Reusable Sandwich Bag-Ants on a Picnic-Wetbag-Zipper Closure.
    diesel_had_my_baby@yahoo.com

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  137. I like taking raw fruits and vegetables of all kinds, especially melons and berries.
    diesel_had_my_baby@yahoo.com

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  138. lemon and lime! diesel_had_my_baby@yahoo.com

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  139. I work at UPS in hot trucks that sit out in the heat all day. It is very physical and sometimes the temperature in there is upwards of 120 degrees. I drink a gallon of water per day, at least.
    diesel_had_my_baby@yahoo.com

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  140. We always bring our ownbags to the grocery store!

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  141. Insulated Lunch bag, Reusable Lunch Bag, Women Lunchbag, Lunch Bag, Girl Lunch Bag, Eco Friendly-Blue Black Flower Power

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  142. I like the " Women Lunch Bag, Insulated Lunch Bag, Girls Small Purse, Fabric Lunch Bag-Multi Colored Scalloped With White Flower Buckle"

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  143. I like the fruity one they have now....I'm also partial to cute paisleys

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  144. I love the purple lunch print......oh heck....they are all cute!!

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  145. Lunch Bag, Women Lunch Bag, Insulated Lunch Bag, Small Purse, Work Lunch Bag-Purple Beige Ikat

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  146. My favorite lunch bag is the Hot Pink Orange Diagonal Checkered one! Most of them are cute, but i love bold bright colors!!

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  147. I would love to see sandwich bags with sandwiches on them. Or little forest scenes.

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  148. I would love to do berries in the infuser. like raspberries and blackberries or blueberries and lemon. yumm!!

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  149. Soft Yellow with Blue Leaf Motif

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  150. I like the Fabric Lunch Bag-Red Green Beige Checker

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  151. by recycling and using coupons

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  152. I would love to see baby animals or food items as patterns for sandwich bags

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  153. my favorite healthy snack for lunch is apples

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  154. my flavor zinging would be watermelon,kiwi, mint and lemon

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  155. I drink about four cups of water a day

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  156. I love the lunchbag in Emerald Black and White Polka Dot! Classy!

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  157. I save money and the environment by cloth diapering and reusable water bottles!

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  158. I love the Owl Prints for Baby's Growing Up Green1

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  159. My favorite healthy snack for lunch is strawberries!

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  160. I would like to zing vanilla or some of the sweet fruits!

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  161. I try to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, more when it's hot out.

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  162. I shop at thrift stores and garage sales.

    slehan at juno dot com

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  163. I drink about 64 oz of water a day.

    slehan at juno dot com

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  164. Vicki Furrin on RafflecopterJune 20, 2013 at 2:11 AM

    Am not sure which is my favourite... am having a hard time deciding between the Emerald Black and White Polka Dot, the Blue Black Flower Power and the Big Brown Polka Dot.

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  165. Vicki Furrin on RafflecopterJune 20, 2013 at 2:21 AM

    I try and use as many re-usable and refillable products as possible.

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  166. Vicki Furrin on RafflecopterJune 20, 2013 at 2:27 AM

    I like the prints at Baby's Growing Up Green but I'd love to see some dog prints, maybe something with trees. Maybe something nautical or at least beachy.
    sweetandtart at live dot com

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  167. Vicki Furrin on RafflecopterJune 20, 2013 at 2:28 AM

    My favourite healthy lunch to pack is a salad. And maybe some apple slices,strawberries or grapes.
    sweetandtart at live dot com

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  168. Vicki Furrin on RafflecopterJune 20, 2013 at 2:38 AM

    I'd probably zing lemons and/or limes.

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  169. Vicki Furrin on RafflecopterJune 20, 2013 at 2:44 AM

    I drink at least acouple bottles of plain water a day.

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  170. I definitely would like to have this water bottle

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  171. I really need to get that water bottles

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  172. I love the charcoal/light grey colorblock lunch bag
    Thanks for the chance

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  173. I have been using small glass jars forever, but have been finding ziplock bags hard to kick. I will have to give reusable bags a solid go.

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  174. Good post! I'm a plastics engineer too and I try to reuse as much as possible. I have some planet wise snack bags and reuseabe sandwich wrap that I use. I hope more and more people start using stuff like this.

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