I haven’t done full-blown New Year’s Resolutions for many years since I realised they caused more angst than they were worth, but I find the end of the year is a good opportunity for reflection and to think about how I want to live my life. Are there small changes that I can make to be more intentional about the things that matter to me? This is what I decided to do in January.
My usual habit in my working week has been to call into Pret or Sainsbury’s on the way to work to buy sandwiches or soup, but I’ve been convicted by the amount of single use plastic that generates in soup cartons, hummus pots or sandwich wrappings. The cost really mounts up, of course, and I’m aware of how privileged I am to be able to just buy what I fancy. This month I decided to make lunch each day and take it to work to cut down on plastic waste, and it’s been a great experiment.
I’ve feasted on leftovers from the night before – baked orzo puttanesca, mushroom risotto and leek croustade. I squirrelled away a portion of Leon Gobi for lunch the next day before our Tuesday night crew tucked in one week, although I don’t think they realised that.
I’ve made soup from tired veg that have been going slightly wrinkly in the bottom of the fridge – butternut squash, parsnip and smoked paprika soup was surprisingly tasty – and stashed portions in the freezer to take into work. Having a freezer at home and a microwave at work has really helped, obviously.
I’ve made my own hummus which actually takes very little effort, and chopped carrots to eat with it.
I’ve made rice or lentil salad with whatever veg is in the fridge, along with seeds, nuts, beans or herbs and dressing. I used precooked lentils which come in a plastic pouch, and my nuts and seeds are bought in plastic bags so I haven’t eliminated plastic entirely but I’ve definitely used less. I’m not sure how appetising that looks from the photo above, but they have tasted great!
I’ve bought loose clementines and bananas, rather than chopped mango in plastic pots, and bread rolls from Sainsbury’s that now come in paper bags.
I can imagine that taking your own lunches to work is a no-brainer for many people. I’ve enjoyed being intentional about it even though I’ve ended up chopping up cucumber at 11 o’clock at night a couple of times. One to continue, I think.