February 05, 2010 11:47 ET

Green Gifts for Valentine's Day That Mother Earth Will Love

LAFAYETTE, CA--(Marketwire - February 5, 2010) - ECOlunchboxes urges Earth lovers to go green for Valentine's Day this year by choosing eco-gifts that will please their sweethearts and Mother Earth.

"Try something new and show your Valentine some eco-love with a green gift that will keep on giving all year long," says Sandra Ann Harris, founder of ECOlunchboxes which offers handmade lunch bags with cloth napkins and stainless steel food containers.

The San Francisco Bay Area green business has just released a limited edition red-and-white ECOlunchbag with three matching napkins.

"Green may not be the typical color for Valentine's Day but I predict we'll be seeing a lot of interest in sustainable gifts," says Harris, whose eco-mom company is based in Lafayette, Calif. "Reusable lunchware is a classic green gift. It's shocking how quickly plastic baggies, disposable utensils and pre-packaged snacks add up to a lot of extra expense and waste."

An average U.S. family spends about $400 extra on disposable lunchware and creates more than 4,000 pieces of trash unnecessarily, according to the results of the recently released ECOlunchboxes Lunchbox Waste Study.

An ECOlunchbox Kit, which includes a lunch bag, a stainless food container and bamboo spork, "is a great way to encourage friends and family to make the shift to more sustainable habits," says Harris, a mother of two elementary school age children.

Harris designed the handmade "ECOlunchbag + 3 Matching Napkins" for children and adults. The colorful lunch bags are shaped like the kraft paper bags used for generations, but they're machine washable, sewn from artisan block-printed cotton and can be carried as a backpack or hip bag.

"I was tired of using so much plastic and concerned about its potential health effects on my family," explains Harris. "I decided to develop a lunch kit made from tried-and-true natural materials: cotton and steel."

In its Lunchbox Waste Study, determined that the financial and environmental benefits of buying food in bulk and using stainless steel food containers, machine washable lunchbags and other no-waste lunchware are substantial. For study results:

ECOlunchboxes' stainless steel food containers and handmade ECOlunchbags are available at select Whole Foods in Northern California, REI online and stores nationwide, Natural Grocery in El Cerrito and Berkeley, Down To Earth Distributors,,, and other retailers nationwide.

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