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How To Green Your Lunch

Americans really do have it made when it comes to eating out. Whether it’s grabbing a burger at Wendy’s or sitting down to enjoy seafood and pasta at Red Lobster, people will always have a place to spend money during their lunch break.

But did you ever think about how much waste the burger wrappers, napkins and excess food create? Or about the greenhouse gas emissions that are produced when you drive to a restaurant? You should because all of these factors have a negative impact on the environment. That’s why it’s important to learn how to green your lunch. Greening your lunch will not only reduce your carbon footprint, it will also save you some cash.

Here are a few easy ways that you can green your lunch:

Pack It Up

The #1 best way that you can green your lunch is to pack it. Instead of using plastic or paper bags, you should choose a reusable lunch box. Why? According to the EPA, children who bring a bag lunch to school every day create about 67 pounds of waste by the end of the year! If you can imagine how many children are in school and how many people work every day, that’s millions of pounds of brown bag waste.

Here are a few reusable lunch boxes that are great alternatives to bags: TerraCycle Drink Pouch Lunch Box, ACME Cotton Recycled Lunch Bag, Vy & Elle Lunch Bag, Mini Bento Stainless Steel Lunch Jar.

Keep it Contained

Instead of buying plastic sandwich bags, saran wrap or aluminum foil, try reusable plastic containers for your food. You can go with regular plastic, but if you want to be extra eco friendly you can buy recycled plastic containers.

Try this 44 oz. Recycled Corn Plastic Container for cold foods or the Apple Green Preserve Entrée/Sandwich Food Storage for your sandwiches.

Drink for Less

You won’t have to worry about buying a drink if you bring your own in a reusable container.  You can choose between a recycled to-go cup or a traditional water bottle. Whatever you choose, you can always fill up with water when you run out of your beverage.

Some cool containers to choose from are: SIGG Water Bottles, BFA Free Water Bottle, Haoyu Stainless Steel  Water Bottle, Ecousable Stainless Steel Water Bottle,  and many more in our Stainless Steel Water Bottles & Mugs section.


Do Away with Traditional Utensils

We’re not telling you to be super green and to eat your salad with your hands, but you also don’t need to use traditional steel or plastic utensils. Try recycled or all-natural forks, spoons and knives that you can wash and reuse.

Some great green options you have are the To-Go Ware Bamboo Utensil Set, Bambu Reusable Spork, Global Exchange Reusable Utensils to Go, and Totally Bamboo Twist Chopsticks.


Clear the Way for Cloth

For every 100 pounds of trash we throw away, close to 35 pounds of it is paper. Paper napkins add to this paper waste, so instead of bringing your own or grabbing a handful at work try a reusable cloth napkin. They’re very convenient to have around and are super easy to wash.

Wipe away with these reusable napkins: Fiberactive Organics Organic Cotton Napkins, Mayan Cotton Napkins, Litter-Free Lunch – Reusable Cotton Napkins and Organic Cotton Check Napkins.


Go Organic

One of the healthiest ways to green your lunch is to bring organic or locally-grown food. You can check out our Organic Food & Drink category for any ideas.


If you happen to forget your packed lunch and you absolutely have to go out to eat, then try carpooling with others to a nearby restaurant. It would be greener if you could walk to get your food, but if you carpool you’re at least reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


See, it doesn’t take much to green your lunch. You can have a tasty, eco friendly meal every day without even opening your wallet.

Comments (3)

Tiered thermoses are also an awesome way to take hot food, like soups and rice, with you to work.
Interesting suggestions.The food in my lunch isn't as green as it could be, but I bring it in reusable containers and water bottle, and carry it all in a lunch bag. Its amazing how much this can reduce your impact:
I love these lunch bags, I'm a sucker for compartments, and little boxes for your food bits. Folding cutlery! There's heaps of really nice insulated lunch bags and cool (or hot!) drink containers at
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