March 2, 2014

Zero Waste Lunches at Work.

A lot of people ask me how I am Zero Waste at work.  I usually say that I bring my lunch to work every day which helps A LOT. A few weeks ago I posted my ultimate zero waste lunch kit with a lot of items from Life Without Plastic.

I save a lot of money by not purchasing lunch every day. My Organic, vegetarian meals cost me maybe three dollars each as opposed to buying lunch with non-organic, potentially GMO, conventional, and miscelaneious ingredients which can cost 8 dollars or more.

I try to make it a habit to make my lunch for the next day right when I get home. It takes about 20 minutes and then I am done and can just grab it and walk out the door in the morning. I usually make huge salads or mix pasta, rice, or cous cous with sautéed vegetables.

I keep apple cider vinegar at my office to use as a dressing so I don't have to worry about lettuce from my salads wilting.

From the top left going clockwise:
  • Mixed green salad with kale, celery, cucumber, carrot, broccoli, green pepper, chia seeds, and beets: apple cider vinegar and olive oil dressing
  • Mixed green salad with radish, kale, celery, cucumber, carrot, broccoli, green pepper, chia seeds, and beets: apple cider vinegar and olive oil dressing
  • Mixed green salad with  barbecue tofu, chia seeds, kale, celery, cucumber, carrot, broccoli, green pepper, and beet: apple cider vinegar and olive oil dressing
  • Cous cous with radicchio, tomato, green leaf lettuce, and mushrooms
  • Brown rice with kale, tomato, pepper, and avocado
  • Cous cous with mushroom, tomato, squash, and mushroom 
As always, I use:
One airtight stainless steel lunch container 
I got mine from Life Without Plastic. It is great. Totally spill proof, easy to clean, and it has optional dividers so that I can keep my food separate. 

I also got this from Life Without Plastic. Besides the fact that it is insanely adorable and foldable, it comes in an organic cotton carrying case. I am still deciding whether I should keep it in my bag at all times, or just leave it at work. You could also pick up a fork from the Goodwill or Salvation Army to leave at the office.

One reusable napkin
I use Organic cotton napkins at my house, and I bring one to the office and leave it there for the week and then bring it home to wash it on Friday. So easy. LWP offers a couple options including a book of washable napkins which seem pretty cool although I haven't tried them.

A couple Organic cotton bags for snacks or sandwiches
(you can also use them for bulk at the market). I use these to buy rice and pasta at the market, but I also use them to carry granola, nuts, popcorn or even a sandwich to work. They are super lightweight and washable.

One mason jar, glass, or stainless steel canteen
I leave a stainless steel water bottle at work and just wash it in the sink. I also leave a mason jar for hot liquids like coffee. You could also bring a glass from home or purchase one at your local thrift shop for under a dollar. P.S. if you drink iced coffee or tea, you might want to invest in a stainless steel straw. I LOVE mine.