Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Earth Day Bento Hop! Leave No Scrap Uneaten!

To celebrate Earth Day (which will be this Sunday, 4/22/12,) my Bento Blogger Friends decided to do another fun Blog Hop. We're doing this one early, to hopefully give you all some time to incorporate any new inspirations! You'll see some great food ideas for reducing waste, recycling, re-using, choosing a healthier and more natural diet, conservation, and just celebrating the Earth. As well as some other fun themes and ideas!

Both of our lunches are dye-free, nut-free, and (mostly*) all-natural, preservative-free, or organic. And 98% waste-free (I threw out the carrot tops.) My lunch is even vegetarian!

*the Special K crackers in my lunch are the one exception. I just stocked up so didn't want to go buy a special box of organic crackers and have so many crackers that some would go bad before we ate them. Hardly honors my waste-free goal with this lunch!

Rainbow Family
Organic braising mix lettuces, yellow (green) and purple carrots, raspberries and blueberries.
All-natural tortilla, ham (and scraps) and cheese. Terra Exotic Vegetable Chips.
Our family in ham, cheese, organic spinach and all-natural fruit leather
Her lunch not only has our family, made with a face cutter set from, but also all the colors of the rainbow! Red raspberries and beet chips, orange carrots and cheese, yellow carrots, green lettuce, blue blueberries, and purple kale and carrots!

I made our family from ham, assorted cheeses, and fruit leather. Spinach added under facial features to help them show up.
Left to right, top to bottom: Daddy, Mama, Little Z, Baby E
Mama's Scrap Heap Lunch
All the spinach, carrot, fruit leather, and cheese scraps from her lunch went into my lunch. So in a way, my lunch is also recycled/re-used!
Organic spinach, green and red lettuces. Organic carrots and scraps. Fruit leather
scraps and organic raisins. Cheese scraps, Special K crackers, organic
apples and all-natural TJs Cookie Butter. All-natural raspberry vinaigrette dressing.
To help keep our lunches waste-free, I'll be trotting out our new cloth napkins from Red Poppy Designs on Etsy! I got Z some Hello Kitty ones... and they arrived lightning fast! So then I went back and ordered Strawberry Shortcake and bunnies as well! Squee! And of course I packed in our EasyLunchboxes, which are also washable and reusable!

So hop on to see what Crystal from Crystal's Ramblings created, then keep on hopping! 

Making cute shapes out of our foods can create a lot of waste, so I often get asked what I do with all my scraps. To be honest, I usually eat them right then and there. Or Z will come and want to eat her beautiful lunch right away, so I throw scraps her way as a distraction. Soon I'll have another little mouth to placate with scraps. I also will toss them into my lunches, or store them in reusable containers in the fridge for another day. Another option is to keep scraps in the freezer until you have enough for something big. I usually cut out my bread before adding spreads, so they could be saved for home-made croutons, bread crumbs, meat loaf, or Mamabelly's French Toast Casserole. (Honestly I usually toss mine out the back door for the birds though.) For veggie scraps, Candy Girl from BentOnBetterLunches has a great recipe for Bento Scrap Soup. And meat and/or cheese scraps could be used in pocket sandwiches (so the little bits don't all fall out) or Candy Girl's quiche (which could also be done in muffin tins for a portable breakfast!)

I like doing bento-style meals, since so much of the stuff is reusable. I only throw out the paper cupcake liners and wooden and paper picks. But since they are compostable, we can put them with our other food garbage in with our yard waste, and I don't feel so wasteful. I avoid the foil-lined cupcake wrappers, since they aren't.

And by teaching her to bring everything back, she not only doesn't throw out my silicone cups and plastic picks, she brings back uneaten food. So I can trot it back out as a snack, or roll it into the next day's lunch. Or, if it's too gross, toss it in with the compostables.

 faces cutters 


  1. Great lunch Mama! I did the same - cheese and carrot scraps are going on my salad today. :) yours look yum!

    LOVE the faces of your family - so so cute! Let us know what Z thanks of them!!

  2. Great post! The cheese family is precious! I usually eat the scraps from my son's lunch while I am making it. Some mornings the scraps are my breakfast.

  3. What a beautiful family! I do the same with the scraps...D is usually standing at my elbow waiting for them! LOL

  4. Your family came out amazing! I love all the little faces! Great lunch and great post!

  5. Love the whole lunch especially your family faces, amazing detailing :)

  6. Amazing bento! I love the blueberries in the raspberries and absolutely adore the family faces!

  7. Love the cute faces of ur family, n this is a wonderful lunch, love it. :)

  8. Love the facial expressions! So cute. And your lunch is YUM. I like it the way you throw every scrap in yours, and they still looked adorable. I throw mine straight to my mouth, or their breakfast plates.

  9. Great post! And thanks for the link! Those faces are so sweet, and teeny, well done!

  10. The little family faces are so cute!

  11. So cute! We're so glad you linked up this week at Allergy-Free Wednesdays! As always, we hope to see you back again next week.

    ~Michelle, AFW Hostess

  12. So cute and fun! I absolutely love the stuffed berries and the spinach under the faces - I need to try that sometime! ^^

  13. Wow! So many amazing Earth Day submissions this week. Voting is going to be hard!

    Diana Rambles
    Bento Blog Network

  14. The little faces are so cute! =)

  15. The scraps from my kids lunches often end up in my lunch too! I love the blueberries inside the raspberries... I never thought of doing that! Thanks so muh for linking up to Food Adventure Friday!


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