Ever wondered how to pack a waste-free lunch? It can sound like a daunting task, but it’s actually much easier than you would think! There are tons of effortless eco-friendly swaps you can make that not only help the planet, but can also elevate your dining experience. Here are six easy eco-swaps perfect for anyone who wants to start packing a zero-waste lunch from home.
1. Reusable bottles
Finding a reusable bottle you love is one of the best investments to make on your waste-free lunch journey. But you won’t just save money with this swap (the average American spends more than one thousand dollars on single-use water bottles every 10 years), but you’ll also never have to sip room temperature beverages again. Just make sure to opt for vacuum-insulated designs that will keep drinks cold (or hot!) for hours.
2. Metal travel utensils
If you’re like us, you know there’s nothing quite like eating a meal with metal utensils. Not only are metal utensils stronger and more durable than their plastic counterparts, but they also just seem to make food taste better! The good news is you won’t have to forego this simple pleasure just because you're dining on-the-go. By opting for reusable metal travel utensils over plastic cutlery, you can slice into that chicken cutlet without worrying about snapping your knife—all while helping keep earth clean. Win, win.
3. Insulated food jars
Usually grab a hearty soup at lunchtime? Try whipping one up at home and packing it in a leak-proof food jar. An added bonus: You won’t just be saving a single-use takeout carton from the landfill—you’ll also be saving yourself from the dreaded checkout line! Regardless of what you decide to cook, we recommend packing it in a vacuum-insulated design like ZOKU's Neat Stack Food Jars so you can be sure your meal is piping hot at lunchtime.
4. Reusable food containers
Every day, a staggering 20 million sandwich bags are sent to landfills from school lunches alone. One easy way to help reduce this number? Switch to reusable food containers when packing up sandwiches or snacks. We especially love this swap because food containers also keep meals from getting crushed in your backpack or bag. Nobody likes a squished burrito!
5. Metal straws
One of our favorite eco-friendly swaps to make is switching from disposable straws to reusable metal ones. In addition to helping reduce waste, metal straws are a great choice because they won’t easily crumple or get soggy like plastic and paper straws do. For added convenience, we recommend opting for metal straws that come with a hygienic travel case included, like ZOKU's Pocket Straws.
6. Reusable tumblers
Capping off your waste-free lunch with a cup of coffee or tea from the office kitchen? Skip the stack of disposables and try filling up a reusable tumbler instead. Not only does this help cut down on the 16 billion single-use coffee cups used every year, but your hands will also thank you if you opt for a reusable mug that is well insulated. There’s nothing worse than burning your fingers on a hot cup of afternoon tea!
For more waste-free inspiration, check out ZOKU’s collection of eco-friendly products.