Last week I re-launched soup club at the David Suzuki Foundation Vancouver office.
Can a pot of delicious Ukrainian borsht with beets and potatoes from my Grandma's garden save the planet? Not on its own. But here's what it can do (use these tips to help with your office pitch):
Benefits of membership
- Free lunch! If 10 people join, that's nine, no-cost, healthy, home-cooked lunches for each club member. Think of the coin you'll save.
- Everyone is welcome. You'll actually get a chance to chat with staffers on the other side of the office, maybe start a green conversation. (I learned that a new co-worker of mine speaks Ukrainian, too!)
- Boosted productivity. Take back the lunch break and don't eat at your desk. You'll return to work refreshed, refocused, re-energized and relaxed.
- Try new recipes. Cater to the dietary needs of members, e.g., vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, etc. For the planet, emphasize local, seasonal ingredients, maybe from peoples' gardens.
- Less waste. No take out containers!
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Soup club FAQs for the soul
Q: Will this take a lot of time to organize?
A: Doesn't have to. Make an announcement at your next staff meeting. Post a sign-up sheet in your kitchen or break room listing dates (ours is Wednesdays), with columns for the soup maker's name, the type of soup, and another volunteer to bring bread or crackers.
Q: How can I transport soup for 10 when I commute by bus/train/bike?
A: Freeze it, especially if you make it on the weekend when you have more time. Or buy a crock pot or stock pot for the office kitchen and cook on-site.
Q: What if people forget or cancel at the last minute?
A: Have each person join by signing up for a date to bring soup. (You don't eat if you don't commit!) Let people self-police, and find a substitute if they can't make it.
You'll be surprised at how good this soup club idea really is! (I didn't invent it). In the past we've even had members' husbands and mother-in-laws make soup for our club because it's such a cool idea and people are excited to share.
How does your workplace encourage eating that's healthy for employees and the planet?
Lindsay Coulter, Queen of Green