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Resurrecting the brown-bag lunch

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We recently reported that workers are packing their lunches more often. Packing lunch is definitely more affordable. It can also offer a way to lessen your carbon footprint.

Laurie Cleary, of, says “by making small changes, like carrying reusable lunch containers, we can make a big impact in reducing waste.”

Online shop sells a variety of cheerfully colored, eco-friendly lunch containers—which one imagines would be easy to spot among the transparent boxes of plastic in the office fridge.

Cleary’s advice: Be choosy when selecting your reusable containers.

“Many bags and food jars are plastic that can leach harmful chemicals into your food, with yet unknown health consequences,” she says.

Steer clear of drink bottles made of aluminum. “They require a liner that can crack over time, and may contain the chemical BPA,” Cleary says. “We recommend lunch gear made from stainless steel; glass; fabrics like cotton and nylon; and polypropylene plastic.”

And, she says, stick with glass containers when you’re heating up food in the microwave—“it’s safest.”

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