Four Easy Ways to Pack a Zero-Waste Lunch
Your wallet—and the planet—will thank you.
You may not think twice about grabbing lunch every day from your favorite take-out spot, but not only is this habit costing you extra bucks, it's costly for the planet, too. And in light of the coronavirus pandemic, you might be working from or else less inclined to step out for lunch even if you're heading into the office. Either way, it's important to remember that grab-and-go meals are often wrapped in plastic, packed in paper bags (or more plastic), and come with a side of single-use plastic cutlery. One easy way to have a more eco-friendly day? Pack your own lunch. (We bet you already have a ton of food storage containers at home that's just waiting to be used!) Then, try out some of our favorite sustainable lunch goods, from reusable sandwich bags to portable bamboo utensils.
If you do decide to treat yourself to take-out, try asking the restaurant to hold the plastic silverware and use a trusty reusable utensil set instead, like the one pictured above ($15, to-goware.com). Simply store it in your desk or bag—it's so compact you'll barely notice it's in there—and break it out at lunchtime. The lightweight cutlery (includes a fork, spoon, knife, and chopsticks) is made out of heat and stain-resistant bamboo and the case is crafted from recycled plastic bottles.
Whether you're packing a sandwich, apple slices, or trail mix, switch out single-use baggies for these reusable alternatives. The (re)Zip bags, made with food-safe, BPA and lead-free materials, come in a variety of sizes and have an airtight seal that is freezer safe (meal prep anyone?). To boot, re(Zip) is also a certified B-Corporation that's met rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. In other words, what you see is what you get, just like with these baggies.
Shop Now: re(Zip) 4-Piece Essential Leakproof Reusable Storage Bag Kit, $19.99, amazon.com.
Here's a smarter way to stay hydrated without the waste. In America alone, we throw away about 2.5 million plastic beverage bottles every hour. Instead, swap in the sleek and stylish BKR water bottle. It's made from recyclable glass with a soft silicone casing that's easily removable for cleaning if needed. Choose yours from a variety of chic shades. Who knew a water bottle could be so pretty?
Shop Now: BKR "Big Elle" Kiss Kit, $59, mybkr.com.
Did you know that just by ordering your daily coffee or tea in a reusable cup, you could save 23 pounds of waste from landfills a year? Consider getting your next caffeine fix in an eCoffee cup. Made from natural organic bamboo fibers, this alternative is not only BPA and phthalate-free, but also conveniently dishwasher friendly. It's lightweight yet sturdy, and it comes with a snug silicone lid and reusable stopper that helps you avoid pesky drips and leaks.
Shop Now: eCoffee Reusable Sustainable To-Go Coffee Cup, $14, amazon.com.