Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hold on to your drink pouches!

For those of you who attended the successful Betty picnic, you know we were striving for "zero waste," which means I still have the kids' juice pouches that were graciously donated by the folks at Rebecca's Natural Foods at Barracks Road Shopping! The organics and compostable flatware are stewing nicely in my compost bin, the plastics have been recycled, the cardboard is in my trunk. But the juice pouches sit staring at me from my kitchen counter!

The company, ironically named Back to Nature, it seems turns its back on nature as far as the packaging of their all-natural juice is concerned.

I just got off the phone with John at Back to Nature in Madison, Wisconsin and unfortunately he was no help as to an alternative to the landfill. I refuse to toss these pouches! I told them kindly that their competition Honest Kids and Capri Sun has recently teamed up with Terracycle who facilitates a process whereby you can send away for a collection bag and then you can save all your juice boxes and they will gladly and fashionably transform your pouch trash into a reusable bag or pencil holder or other nifty container.

This was news to John.

I told him to please pass it on to the execs: a little advice compliments of Better World Betty down here in Charlottesville.

Ideally we as parents and teachers and kids will just say no to single use items like drink boxes and juice pouches and pour kids juice at home into their reusable water bottles or even better forget the juice altogether in favor of crystal, clear, filtered tap water.

However, let me be the first to admit that when we are at the snack bar after mom's workout or meeting Dad for lunch at the nearest, healthiest, quickest chain (Panera for example) and the kids are thirsty they get a milk carton that I have to cart home to recycle or if it's Horizon Organic which is a tetra-pak it's non-recyclable (tetra-pak recycling is not widespread in the US - which is why I opt for alumnimum cans for broths, when I don't make my own :-)).

So whether you have chosen to eliminate single use drinks for your kids (juice boxes being the biggest non-recyclable offender, and juice packets coming in at a close second) other than for those special occasions that make a single drink convenient (I'm thinking of campouts and, yes, picnics), take heart in two options:

1)The "drink pouch brigade": Terracycle's program with Capri Sun and Honest Kids ( which as I've said could transform your trash into a treasure

2)Or here's a cool d.i.y. option for you crafty, creative greenies. Get out the sewing machine (I wonder if heavy duty staples work?) and make your own reusable bag at Looks like that's what the kids and I will be doing for our summer craft activity tomorrow.

3)You can always go full-on green by carting your trusty Sigg or other PBA-free water bottle around filled with your favorite local concoction!


p.s. Glad to be back in the blogosphere more regularly after a summer of family visits, playing full-time mommy, a trip West, relaxing and breathing in the sunny weather!

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