Lunching Sustainably

Choosing to become a sustainable, responsible citizen takes effort. You don’t just become it overnight and it takes time and effort to check on your actions – but it makes you more humane, humble and reflective of your every day actions – plus you save money. 
After realizing how much waste I produced every day because of  at-work snacking and lunches via the take-outs and deliveries, etc, I’ve decided to make a little effort at night before bed by bringing leftover lunch to work. Not only will it save me some money at the end of the month, but I will also know what is in my food, since I’ll be cooking it myself. 
But here’s what is part of my #NoWasteLunch army:
  • A good reusable bottle
    I use a Swell bottle that I brought from Canada. It keeps water cold for 24 hours and any hot drink hot for at least 12 hours. It’s the best feeling to discover a cold sip of water on a hot day out in the market in Karachi.
  • A reusable, insulated coffee/tea flask
    My mornings are fairly rushed. Between feeding our stray cats their breakfast, ironing my clothes, putting my lunch in a bag and grabbing the morning paper, I choose to drink my morning coffee on the go. Hence, I use my 5-year old good-as-ever Starbucks coffee flask to take the first dose of caffeine. No need to stop at a coffee shop in the morning and contribute to plastic waste first thing. Always good to start the day right!
  • Stylish, reusable lunch bag 
    My mornings are rushed, so I need something to dump all of the above in and witty lunch bag is the best thing for it!
  • Reusable (non-plastic) fork & spoon set
    Thank God for Miniso’s fork and spoon set – and now I can eat chaat anywhere without having to use the plastic spoons they give. Once I’m done using them, I wipe them clean with a tissue and voila, good to go in the pouch and wash at work or home. 
  • Porcelain lunch box 
    I’m a big fan of colours, so I have a selection of lunch boxes, all in bright colors. I make sure that once I’m done clearing my kitchen at night – I transfer some of the leftovers in my lunch box to go. Sometimes I carry it empty in my bag to fill in a salad when I stop at Subway or to take away my leftovers if we eat lunch outside.
  • Beeswax wraps (an alternate to cling film)
    Recently, I discovered this dandy product made with bees wax called Bees Knees reusable food wraps. I have a set and they’re great to wrap up a muffin or slice of banana bread or cookie to go. They are a great replacement of cling film (which I am not a great fan of since childhood) and they look beautiful. Plus, they’re by a local woman-run start-up that you and I need to support.

Most university campuses and workplaces in Karachi (and the rest of Pakistan) have an in-house kitchen so you can heat your food, make your coffee and store your food right there – and wash your dishes there too to make sure you take clean lunchboxes back home to store lunch for the next day! Easy, right?! You can do it too!

Yay for no plastic cutlery, styrofoam, plastic poisoning and air pollution!



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