Did you bring lunch to elementary school in your Spiderman or Tweety Bird lunch bag? Well, for a lot of us, that is probably the last time we were very “green” about eating lunch.
As the eco-friendly phenomena continues to surge forward, now is as good a time as any to dust off the reusable lunch bag and start bringing a greener lunch to work.
Avoid placing a lunch-time phone order. Or, lunch-share.
Although the food is usually delicious and the preparation is more than simple, getting delivery and take out for lunch almost inevitably ends with a miniature mountain of packaging waste. Not to mention the gas used by the delivery guy/girl to drive back and forth from the restaurant to the workplace.
However, in some instances, delivery can be the only option. If you do order delivery, join coworkers in placing a large order, which is more efficient than many separate ones. Additionally, if you place an order for take-out, try biking or walking to pick up your order. Eco-friendly and an exercise opportunity!
3 ways to create green lunches
Once you have a plan in place, kick off your new eco-friendly office lunches with a culinary team building program. These types of celebrations help your team embrace new ideas and changes to your office culture.
(1) The Shopping List
For your initial green lunch, you will need to purchase reusable containers, utensils and napkins, along with a reusable bag. Although this may jack up your shopping bill for the week, you will soon quadruple the money saved by not eating out.
Ex. A great reusable container to use is the Lunch Bot. Built similar to a Bento Box, the Lunch Bot is a sustainable, stainless steel container that is BPA free. Using the Lunch Bot will help cut down on the piles of plastic baggies and containers found accumulating in landfills.
After the initial grocery run, consider generating a planned and organized grocery list each week which outlines all the necessities for meals during the week. This will ensure you are efficient with both your time and your money at the grocery store.
Also, this will prevent numerous trips back and forth to the store to collect the items you may have forgotten during a disorganized trip earlier in the week. I mean, who really enjoys going to the grocery store more than necessary?
(2) Brought lunch doesn’t have to be boring lunch.
There are ways to spice up your brought lunch – which in turn could give you some motivation to get through your morning grind and onto the delicious lunch waiting for you in the fridge – all while saving the planet! To find great recipes and food compilations, Pinterest is surely the place to inquire.
Also, consider treating yourself to a sturdy and washable, yet fashionable lunch bag. The BUILT Company designs great, reusable lunch bags that stretch to fit all the awkward angles of numerous containers.
(3) Green pot luck lunches = creative team building!
Start a trend in your workplace and join your team for a potluck lunch. When possible, try not to eat behind a computer screen, find coworkers and build relationships over lunch instead!
Eating away from your desk will provide you with a mental break, boost team creativity and foster healthier eating habits. To make pot luck lunches greener, designate everyone to bring a specific food item in a resusable container – also be sure to use reusable plates, napkins, and utensils! Eat lunch together in potluck fashion around the conference table – or better yet outside. Turn all the electricity off for an hour or so and eat a green and delicious pot luck lunch outside.
The positives to bringing a lunch strongly outweigh the negatives. While it may require more time and consideration, every green meal brought to work is one step closer towards protecting our planet.