Why the heck can’t we just have a nice lunch ordered in to the office that doesn’t come wrapped in styrofoam and accompanied by plastic cutlery?
Apparently we can.
Grant and I recently did a zero-waste lunch-n-learn with a corporation here in Vancouver. (Basically we just talk about the Clean Bin Project and people think we’re either awesome or crazy). In keeping with the theme, the fabulous organizers went the extra step to ensure the lunch was zero waste as well. And this is where I met Michael Kraus, the founder of One Planet Catering.
One Planet Catering is less than a year old, but I think it has found a niche. Michael is absolutely passionate about food and sustainability. He believes in sourcing local, organic/natural food. He believes in composting kitchen scraps, and avoiding packaging, and giving 5% of what he makes back to the community. He believes in serving meals in reusable containers with cloth napkins and real cutlery.
He believes what we believe about good food being package free, except that he’s running a business with it.
Michael has thought about details right down to the serving dishes. The wooden boxes you see him holding in the picture were custom made with local wood by a carpenter right here in BC. They perfectly fit three dishes (1 sandwich size, and two salad size), a napkin, a glass, and a set of salt and pepper shakers. The trays each have a wooden lid and ingeniously slide into a compact rolling cart.
For lunch we had beet salad, quinoa salad, green salad, and a selection of sandwiches (I, never being one to hold back, tried at least three kinds and can report that the smoked turkey wrap with curried coleslaw was the best). Plus, I was told they actually squeeze their own orange juice! How impressive is that?
Once you’ve had a meal like this, those lunches (that I know we’ve all had) of pale coldcut sandwiches wrapped in plastic seem even more unappetizing.
Does it cost more? I guess it depends on where you usually get your lunches from. The organizers of this lunch said it was about $2-3 extra per person compared to what they usually order, but they also said that what with the quality of the the food, the fact that it was organic/natural, and the amazing reduction in waste, they felt it was well worth it.
Thanks to Amanda and Jill for organizing the lunch-n-learn and to Michael at One Planet Catering (who, by the way, did not in any way coerce me into writing this) for the inspiring lunch. If you’re located in Vancouver, check them out.