Tag Archives | eliminate PVC

Back To School With Thermos

It’s getting close to that time – back to school is almost here! This year, more than ever, the focus for parents is packing litterless lunches. Eliminate PVC and non-recyclable materials and invest in some wonderful reusable items for lunchtime. The brand Thermos has been around for a long time and are known for their quality.  I’m very excited because I get to talk about a new water bottle from Thermos. I was surprised with how much I love their new Roho stainless steel water bottle. It takes a lot to impress me with water bottles…I’ve only ever reviewed 2 brands. The Roho style bottle is perfect for on-the-go adults and kids that attend school all day. What makes this bottle different from the many stainless steel models and brands out there? The difference is how lovely the drinking spout is and the design of the leak proof lid. Kids simply press a button and the lid bounces open – then there is a curved area for drinking and the experience is awesome. Thermos sent us a skull/roses design and my boys flipped when they saw it. It’s the ‘it’ bottle to use in our house right now. . . and that includes my husband and I. It’s refreshing for us as adults to not be sucking water out of sports cap bottles all the time – we all feel a little more grown up. These are hydration bottles made from top quality stainless steel (18/8), the bottles are dishwasher friendly, and there is a cool design for anyone in the family. If you are looking for a double walled bottle to keep liquids hot – there are lots of options on the Thermos site, just click here.

I do worry about my kids playing with the top so much as the button seems to be irresistible for them – but these bottles are a good price point, hold 24 oz of liquid and are readily available at Target, London Drugs, etc. If you can pickup extra tops for the bottles when you purchase them – it might be a good idea.  Also, I appreciate the fact this is a leak proof bottle. I’m not even sure why manufactures would create a product that leaks and then market it to parents that are packing lunches going into backpacks. I love leak proof food containers, bottles, anything getting packed and jostled around in a backpack come September.

Next up – what if you want to send your child to school with a hot lunch?  Left over stir-fry, soup, etc.? You need make sure you are purchasing a double walled container that is made to hold hot liquids, food, and is leak proof. You don’t have to look any further than Thermos. I’ve used Thermos for years to pack soup for on-the-go outings with toddlers and now have the flexibility of packing hot lunches for back to school with my older kids. I’m not a huge fan of commercialized products for school, but sometimes it helps children feel like friends are surrounding them for the return to school and these jars are my favorite material ~ stainless steel. My kids were very jazzed about the Spiderman and Fairies Funtainers they’ve been using this summer for transporting snacks. These containers can also keep hot lunches warm for 5 hours making them the perfect item for kids returning to school that like to eat soup. For adults bringing hot food to work…I’ve been using the Vacuum Insulated Food Jar and the Dual Purpose Food Jar and they are awesome! Again – must have items for parents returning to the work routine wanting more options other than a sandwich.

Last item is for on-the-go mamas that are flying around getting kids from school to sports to after-school activities. Thermos is selling PVC free insulated lined purses that help keep your snacks cool or warm when you are dashing all over town. I have used it all summer to transport cold water bottles on our excursions, but it’s been listening to my kids talk about it that makes me smile. I’ve overheard my older boy telling his friends “hey, do you see my mom’s purse? It’s really not a purse – it’s a cooler!” So funny to listen to…but such a handy accessory for moms. We’re all transporting stainless steel water bottles and stainless steel containers for snacks – so why not keep these items insulated? All summer long I’ve been using it and just keep my camera, keys, and cell phone in the handy pockets located in the front. All items from Thermos are PVC free which is probably the number one requirement with shopping for back to school supplies this year for parents looking to pack healthier and litterless lunches this September.

Canadian customers can use the Thermos site www.ThermosBrand.ca to check out the handy list of retail outlets selling their brand. US customers can visit www.Thermos.com and shop online.   Enjoy the quality and styles Thermos offers with your back-to-school shopping this year!

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Back-To-School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies

The back-to-school online marketing, TV commercials, and newspaper flyers have started and the more I see and read I can’t help but think…”let the greenwashing begin!”  Just because products are advertised as ‘green’ doesn’t necessarily mean they are and parents need to educate themselves on what school supplies are made from.  This year, I’m making an effort to not just stumble blindly through Office Depot trying to find everything on my back-to-school list and will be attempting to purchase non-PVC items and avoid polycarbonate plastics too (BPA plastic coded #7).  Beware of back-to-school greenwashing from companies marketing ‘greener’ school supplies and lunch containers. Ask questions before you buy. I’m so tired of seeing water bottles that appear to be stainless steel, but after picking them up and asking or emailing customer service departments, only to be told they are aluminum (hello Old Navy!!!).  Which is actually terrible because there are health problems associated from having your water in direct contact with aluminum. This is why manufacturers line tin cans with BPA so there is a barrier between the can and food (not that this is an ideal solution either).  When a water bottle looks like stainless steel and is only $4.99 in a store – ask why.  You’ll be surprised by the answer.

My goal is to eliminate PVC (the poison plastic) coded #3 from anything my boys will be putting into their back-packs heading into the classroom this September.  I’m hopeful this is possible because there are so many more options with school supplies this year. Still, it’s a major undertaking to research school supplies so I’m linking to the experts at the Center for Health , Environment, & Justice.  They’ve put together a fantastic guide call Back to School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies. Have a read because this guide was put together August 2009 and is very current with great information. There is even a wallet printable guide to take with you while shopping called Back-To-School Wallet Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies.

If this is important to you I would recommend shopping early because items like 3-ring binders will be tough to find that aren’t made of vinyl. PVC is a known carcinogen and is toxic for human health. Let’s work together to remove it completely from schools.  Mommy Footprint is here to help with back-to-school litter-less (and non-toxic) lunch recommendations. I’ve been trying out some incredible products and will be writing about them over the coming weeks. A wonderful aspect of writing for Mommy Footprint is not only talking about chemicals I’m trying to eliminate from my children’s environment, but pointing parents in the direction to safe and more environmentally friendly products. I would never write a positive product review unless I love the product. I can’t wait to share products that are truly greener and safe to pack into your child’s back pack this school year.  And without the greenwashing. <grin>

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