Grow a Little Greener

Grow a Little Greener

Three moms.  Nine busy kids.  One startup company.

Why did we set out on a mission to reduce plastic waste three years ago?  Well, it didn’t start that way.  We used to laugh about being born in the ‘60s, but not being hippies.

It came from one scary statistic that we heard while sitting around a kitchen table – 20 million sandwich baggies are thrown out across America each day.  This was followed by another staggering fact – the average school age child generates about 67 pounds of lunchtime trash each year.

Using disposable bags may seem harmless on a small scale, but when looked at collectively, the damage to our land and waterways is significant. Not only do single-use bags pollute pristine areas, but they require substantial resources (oil, water, energy) to produce in the volumes that we demand.  Take a look at these statistics:

  • Each household in America uses about 1,000 plastic bags a year.  It takes 12 million barrels of oil to produce the plastic bags used in the U.S., most of which end up in landfills – or stream and oceans where you, your kids and wildlife swim.
  • Only 1-3 percent of plastic bags in the USA end up being recycled.  Plastic bags don’t safely biodegrade for hundreds, even a thousand, years.
  • Each high quality reusable bag you use has the potential to eliminate 1,000 plastic bags over its lifetime.  A reusable bag will pay for itself over time.
  • Ninety percent of the trash in the world’s oceans is plastic.  Ocean animals mistake plastic bags and tiny plastic particles for food, becoming sick, dying or bring toxic substances into the food chain.


Our goal three years ago was to help the average mom reduce waste on a daily basis by cutting down on disposable items and adding reusable products to their list.  We came up with a food-safe, dishwasher-worthy and cute reusable sandwich bag.  We think that we have redefined the market for food transport by adding a convenient alternative to the zippered plastic baggie as an option for busy families.  Because of you, we estimate that our reusable baggie has saved 120 million plastic baggies from entering the waste stream.  By reducing school lunch waste, we think that we are also helping to grow a bunch of “little greeners” too.

Are you “growing a little greener”?  How have you changed in your daily habits over the past three years?  Do you incorporate products or take actions to reduce plastic waste?  We would be interested in hearing from you.

Cristina and Kirsten

Cristina Mendoza Bourelly and Kirsten B. Quigley are the two inventors of LunchSkins reusable sandwich and snack bags. They were neighborhood friends and in 2008, they became partners on a mission to reduce plastic waste.

Note: This Perspectives Blog post is written by a guest blogger of The opinions expressed on this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Dr. Greene or, and as such we are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied. View the license for this post.

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