3 Ways You Can Have a More Sustainable Lunch At Work
We eat to give our body nutrients so it can fuel our body to be productive throughout the day. Or we just munch because we find ourselves in an afternoon slump, a little bored, or a way to keep our minds active while working on tedious projects. Gathering such snacks usually consist of walking to the vending machine, which creates more plastic waste to add on to your growing carbon footprint. The good news is, we can only start to solve a problem once we identified that one is there. If you are guilty of being a snacker throughout the day, here are 3 things you can do to have a more sustainable lunch at work.
1. Bring Your Own Snacks
Ask yourself this, “when, what, and why do I find myself looking for snack escapes at work and what am I craving?” Identifying when you tend to go grab that coffee at the coffee cart or vending machine for that bag of chips is key to know how many snacks you should pack with you before you head out to work. The next question is what to bring. Are you craving something sweet and savory or salty? Pack something that you know you will want to munch on. The last question here is what are the triggers to have you grab for that snack in the first place. Look at your schedule the day before to plan ahead. If you know you need to complete a tedious task the following day and you need a small snack to keep your mind active while doing it, make sure you pack something that will satisfy you during the process of that project!
Pro Tip! Are these snacks that you can make yourself? Do you like to have a muffin with your tea or coffee? Or is it that bag of nuts from the vending machine? Meal prep Sunday night and add these snacks to your lunch prep routine. If its something as small as nuts you crave, buying in bulk from the store and placing them in reusable sandwich bags or containers will help you be more prepared!
2. Pack Your Lunch Sustainably
Packing lunch the night before will not only make your morning less stressful but it will help reduce your carbon footprint. It takes the same amount of time to bring your lunch to work in a reusable lunch bag or container as it does to toss it in a plastic bag. Have a sustainable option on hand at home to avoid using any non-essential plastics to your lunch. Usually your plastics during lunch come from processed food wrappers. Try to eat more wholesome foods to not only reduce your plastic use but to have a healthy diet as well.
Pro Tip! Include reusable cutlery to your lunch container as a way to eliminate plastics one step further!
3. Change What You Drink Out Of
During lunch what do you tend to drink most often? Soda, juice, water, coffee? If you like to have water or coffee this is an obvious alternative a reusable bottle or mug. Where things get a bit more complicated is when you want to have soda or juice. The good news here is that you don’t have to eliminate them from your diet in order to be more sustainable. It’s not about being perfect but being better than you were before. If you happen to like having soda or juice at lunch, try buying a 1-liter bottle and leaving in the fridge at work. This way, you are consuming less plastic than several small bottles over time.
Pro Tip! Make this part of your shopping trip something you do locally around your office so you don’t have to commute into work with a liter of soda if you happen to commute by public transit.
3 actionable steps to have a more sustainable lunch; bring your own snacks, pack your lunch more sustainably, and change what you drink out of. A good way to figure out where you can cut back is by doing a weekly self-audit of what ends up landing in your trash.
Do you have another helpful tip? Leave it in the comments below!
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Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash