Happy National Brown-Bag It Day, where we celebrate the healthy, wallet-friendly and sustainable practice of bringing your own lunch to work! While some of you might be brown-bag pros already, here are some tips for those just getting started in a new habit of packing lunches.
Packing a lunch at the last minute before you head out the door is most likely a recipe for disaster. One of the best ways to simplify lunch packing is to be prepared ahead of time. Portion out sides like baby carrots, pretzels, nuts, or fruit for a few days at a time so they can be easily grabbed and thrown in the lunch bag. Make extra portions of your dinners and do the same, or pre-prepare a few sandwiches or salads that will just need condiments the day of.
2. Stock up on sustainable, reusable packaging
Using plastic baggies and brown bags might save on cleanup time, but they certainly aren’t saving the planet. Buying and reusing a lunchbox and glass or plastic Tupperware helps cut costs in addition to being more environmentally friendly. Plus, who doesn’t love a cute lunch box that keeps your food cool right at your desk?
3. Pack what you know you’ll eat
Even I may or may not be guilty of having packed a lunch and then craving takeout by noon a few times in the past. The key to packing a lunch is making sure you bring healthy foods that you’ll also enjoy. If you usually buy a candy bar from the vending machine around 10am, try to pack a protein bar to make sure you can satisfy your morning munchies. If you always crave pizza on Fridays when your coworkers order in, make a mini pizza on pita bread to heat up in the office microwave. Simple swaps and self-awareness can make it easy to stick to what you packed.