Green Up your Packed Lunch

Follow these tips on how to get the most of your packed lunch, making it tasty, varied and as eco friendly as possible.

lunch box

Bringing a packed lunch with you to work is one of the greenest and most cost effective ways to enjoy healthy food during your work day. It gives you the opportunity to eat a varied and healthy diet and reduces temptation to buy pre-packed foods which are expensive, carry high food miles and waste packaging. Follow these tips on how to get the most of your packed lunch, making it tasty, varied and as eco friendly as possible.

 Choose a healthy, balanced lunch

 Keep your packed lunch healthy and balanced by including carbohydrates, protein and fresh fruit and/or vegetables.

Bring a fresh salad in a reuseable box. Try a mix of lettuce, tomatoes, grated carrots, sliced red peppers and sweetcorn. Bring salad dressing separately and add just before you eat to keep your salad crisp.

A portion of rice or pasta in a separate reuseable container is a good source of carbohydrates- vital for keeping your energy levels topped up.

Use a flask to bring warm food like soup. Eating hot food brings some variety to your lunch time, delivers a wide range of nutrients, is often more filling and satisfying than a basic sandwich, and is a great way to use up leftovers.

 Reduce waste

 One of the key problems with eating whilst on the go is the waste generated by food packaging. Bringing a packed lunch in a reusable box is one of the best ways to prevent excess waste, as well as saving money. When planning your lunch, remember to:

  • Use refillable containers, including lunchboxes, mugs, flasks or water bottles. Plastic bottles, aluminium foil and cling film all contribute to waste in our landfill sites, and require energy to recycle. By buying quality containers to reuse, you can keep your food in better condition (no more squashed sandwiches!) and have a way of storing food which you know will last you for years

  • Avoid bottled water. Buying a litre of bottled water is approximately 2000 times more expensive than drinking a litre of water from the tap. And with its exposure to all that plastic, it certainly isn’t any better for your health. Use a refillable water bottle to bring water with you, and top it up throughout the day. If we all did this, thousands of tons of polyethylene terphthalate bottles would be saved from being added to our landfill sites every year

Love your leftovers

If your workplace has a microwave, save money and enjoy a delicious hot lunch by reheating leftovers from the previous evening. This helps you to prevent food waste, reduce packaging used and minimise your food miles. On average, workers in the UK spend £3.30 on their lunch each day. Cutting this out and bringing food from home could help you to save an impressive £15 a week.

Image sourced: Mazarine

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