Summer of Sustainability Week 3 Challenge - Bring Lunch to Work Using Only Reusable Components

Remember in grade school, when you left the house each day with a mom-packed lunch.  Remember the feeling, when the bell rang, of opening it up and either beaming with joy at the salty snacks and candy, or groaning with disgust at the wilted broccoli or limp bologna sandwich.  When was the last time you felt that level of emotion during your lunch break?  Do you really want to go to the corner café every day for the next few years, like you’ve been doing for the last few?


Far too many of the world’s workers get stuck in a patterned rut: enter the office, sit at the computer, go to the $1 pizza joint, reenter the office, sit at the computer, check watch, sit at the computer…The monotony can be blinding and feel crushing, reducing motivation.  Take a moment now.  Is this how you want to live?  Wouldn’t you rather be, um, happy, excited even (!) during the work day?


Making and bringing your own lunch is a first step.  You are assured of eating only food that you enjoy, you save time that can be used for some relaxation activity (reading, walking in the nearby park, deep breathing) and you cut down your waste footprint dramatically.  As part of UGE’s Summer of Sustainability, our headquarter office employees have been challenged to bring lunch to work every day of this week, using only reusable containers and cutlery.  In the first two days of the challenge, we’ve seen a noticeable reduction in office waste, and take pride in living more sustainably, even if some would say that the impact is a minor one.


If you are a person whose kitchen drawers are filled with plastic forks and not much else, check out these resources to get an idea of what reusable lunch products are out there: Fun sandwich bags from Lunchskins, cutlery, napkins and straws from reuseit, and a variety of green-chic cutlery via thekitchn.  Stand out and show off your green!


So, now that you are bringing your own lunch, what should you make the night before?  Here are a few suggestions of delicious and easy to transport summer dishes: Cold soba noodles in dip sauce, watermelon gazpacho, avocado and beet salad.  Needless to say, these dishes can be dumbed down for quicker prep.


For some, reducing waste may be a strong motivator.  For others, not so much.  Here at UGE, living sustainably and simply is our primary goal.  But we also emphasize the importance of breaks and personal happiness.  Don’t get stuck in your day-to-day routine.  If you need a breath of fresh air, pop outside for a sec.  If you need to stretch your legs, don’t be embarrassed to bust out a down dog, even in your banker’s suit.  Allow yourself room to be human, but keep in mind that we have a responsibility for the wellbeing of our planet.


“Classy, Not Trashy!”


Written by Nicholas DePaul