Yup – this week is a throwback to grade school. Remember when lunchtime rolled around and you opened up your lunch bag rather than drove to the local fast food restaurant? It seems like everyone I know goes out for lunch every day if they are at work (or school!) and it is such. a. waste.
Financial impact: it drains your bank account. Here are two bloggers that broke down the cost of buying your lunch at a restaurant every day versus bringing a lunch from home:
- Buying Your Lunch Is A Terrible Idea. The End. No More Debates
- What Will Save You More Money At Work? Bringing Lunch or Buying It?
TLDR: You can save up to $2500/year by bringing a lunch rather than buying food at a restaurant. :O
Health impact: you’re eating more processed food. Studies have linked fast food to the rise of obesity all over the world. In fact, one study indicated that the calorie intake per capita in the US has increased by more than 300 kcal from 1985 through 2002 and those numbers have only continued to rise over the past decade.
Environmental impact: you are producing so much more waste – both food waste and packaging waste. One article claims that fast food garbage makes up 50% of street and Great Pacific Garbage Patch litter. 50%!!!! That’s huge. Not to mention that most fast food joints serve cheap meat raised in factory farm conditions – but more on those in future emails. (If you can’t wait for the email on factory farming, here’s a quick article to whet your appetite: 5 Ways Factory Farming is Killing the Environment)
If you’re not convinced that taking your lunch is worth the hassle, here are some other arguments that might sway you over to the light side of the force:
- Making your own lunch means that you’re learning valuable skills in cooking and caring for your body.
- You know exactly what is going into your body and it’s probably not nearly as processed as what you would eat if you bought your lunch.
- Not driving to your local fast food joint during your lunch hour saves you gas money and gives you more time to relax.
- Every time you spend money, you are voting with your dollars. Do you really want to tell the fast food industry that we need more crappy processed food to keep up with demand?
And finally, bringing your lunch from home means you get to invest in awesome lunch boxes!
Before I sign off, if you need some inspiration for packing your lunch try googling “bagged lunches” or “lunch box ideas.” Here are a few sites to get you started: