Meet: Ecolunchbox Founder Sandra Ann Harris
A Lafayette business owner works to protect our environment, one lunch at a time.
David Allen Studio
Sandra Ann Harris’ journey to help save the environment began in her kitchen eight years ago.
While packing lunches for her children one morning, Harris noticed the vast amount of plastic packaging, most of which ended up in the trash: cheese stick wrappers, Ziploc bags, yogurt containers.
Appalled by the waste, the humanitarian aid worker and former journalist started reading everything she could find about plastics and the environment, wondering how she could make lunchtime more sustainable.
Her solution? To found her own company, Ecolunchbox, which would revamp how we package our lunches.
Inspired by traditional Indian lunch boxes called tiffins, the Lafayette resident designed a line of eco-friendly stainless steel lunch boxes and containers that are dishwasher safe and made without plastic.
Today, Ecolunchbox has grown from a fledgling venture selling its wares at local holiday fairs to a national hit. Its line of products—which has expanded to include reusable lunch bags—can be found at independent retailers and larger outlets such as Bed Bath and Beyond, the Container Store, and Target. The company has sold more than 400,000 lunch boxes since its founding.
And the products are making an impact on the environment: According to a study conducted by San Francisco’s Presidio Graduate School, Ecolunchbox products eliminate more than eight million pounds of waste each year. That offsets the same amount of emissions produced by burning 2.5 million pounds of coal.
But Harris isn’t satisfied yet. The mother of two hopes to continue expanding her products—giving more consumers a planet-safe alternative to choose.
“I want to protect my kids and our planet from the dangers of plastics,” says Harris. “My dream is that our plastic-free containers will become ubiquitous at big-box retailers nationwide.” .