Packing a Lunch for Earth Day or Channelling Ma Ingalls

Some kids carry Monkey lunchboxes.
Some kids are more in to Speed Racer.

So, my children’s elementary school went all out for Earth Day. Parade, showing of Wall-E, and a waste-free lunch. I’d almost forgotten about the waste-free part when I found the bright green flyer with 85 instructions for Earth Day on the hopelessly cluttered kitchen table. Yes, I know isn’t it funny that there was a flyer listing information how Earth Day would be paper free at school.

Note: Any flyer sent home from elementary school will be booby-trapped with so many ins and outs and instructions and read-between-the-lines inferences that the average mom might just as well give up. Rest assured at some time during the year I will neglect to read the flyer that tells me to dress my children in an aubergine puffy shirt with aquamarine leggings and a hat with a feather…in commemoration of who knows what holiday. On this day my children will exit the school bus with dejected expressions and wailing about being the only kids not dressed for “Puffy Shirt” Day. Being a mom tis a hard job!

So, I looked at the flyer and looked at my cabinets. Frantic search for Rubbermaid containers and — wait for it, wait for it — matching lids commenced. One Rubbermaid tub was found, but wait I needed at least 5 more. Found another lid and matching tub. Searched and found two more. Then found the inevitable tub without lid and lid without tub. Sigh. Back to the drawing board…

Packed both lunches in what I had. Sandwiches. Check. Cheese cubes in same tub as sandwiches. Double check. Drinks in small water thermoses. Triple check. But, what to do about the dessert. No Rubbermaid tubs left. Can’t send in Zip-Loc Bag as it is waste free lunch day.

Eureka! Brain wave! Lightbulb moment! I ran down to storage room and found the bag of burp cloths — all clean, but stored away for who knows what purpose. Hey, presto! I had my storage answer. I wrapped a small handful of chocolate chips in a burp cloth. Burp cloth = storage container and napkin all folded in to one.

I’m nothing if not resourceful! I also felt a little Ma Ingallsish. Not that I am going to be making my own candles or eating head cheese.

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