An effort by her daughter's eco-friendly preschool to encourage trash-free lunches sparked an idea in Chance Claxton.
"When we researched it, we discovered that 67 pounds of lunchtime trash is created by each school-age child each school year," Claxton says. She saw a need for a waste-free lunch and teamed with Lynn Julian to launch Kids Konserve, a self-funded online venture that sells reusable and recycled food kits. The partners expect to bring in $200,000 in their first year, most of which is invested back into the company.
But Kids Konserve's matching stainless-steel containers and reusable cotton napkins are meant to drive more than just eco-friendly revenue--they're also a platform for education and communication. The Phoenix company uses a newsletter and school fundraising events called "Waste-Free Challenges" to teach environmental awareness to kids, teachers and parents. Says Julian, "A lot of parents are waiting to be educated in this arena by their kids."
- Reusable drawstring bag. All cotton products are made of 100 percent cotton and vegetable-based nontoxic inks.
- Greenwood natural dish soap. The natural and biodegradable product is so safe, Claxton says, "you can wash vegetables with this soap."
- Recycled canvas sack. "We were seeking something stronger than a brown paper bag that had more use and wasn't made of synthetics," Claxton says.
- Party pack of plastic ware. One of the few plastic items is made from recycled containers and can be reused and re-recycled.
- Stainless-steel thermos. To ensure safety, all stainless- steel products are randomly tested for toxins in independent labs.
- Beach insulated lunch sack. The outside fabric and inside lining are made from recycled plastic bottles.
- Aluminum name tag. Made from recycled aluminum, the tags encourage kids to reuse by preventing loss.