6 Ways to Make Sustainable Packed Lunches

Wrappers, wrappers, everywhere. Kids are back to school, and parents are busy getting them to soccer/football/cheerleading/insertclubhere in the evenings as well as trying to find time for dinner, homework, and preparing for the next day.


When it comes to packing lunches, anything that comes in wrappers for easy grab-and-go usually wins (we see you, frozen-peanut butter-and-jelly-sandwiches-with-no-crust).


Trust us, we get it.


But what if we told you that you can pack healthy and cost-effective lunches and snacks without wreaking havoc on the environment, and maybe even save some time?


It’s possible, even for you. Here are a few tips for packing sustainable lunches:


  • Invest in reusable sandwich and snack bags. You can get them pretty much anywhere in cute prints that the kids will love (we love these ones). It may seem pricey at first, but you’ll save in the long run from not having to buy plastic zip-top bags that are thrown out after each use.
  • Skip the individually wrapped snacks and opt for fresh cut veggies or whole fruits. Better yet, pick them up at the farmer’s market to support your local economy and probably save a few bucks (don’t forget your reusable produce bags). Cut up all of your veggies and wash all of your produce at the beginning of the week to make it easier to grab and put in the lunch bags throughout the week.
  • Include a reusable water bottle. Seems obvious and simple, right? Every plastic water bottle requires SIX TIMES the amount of water inside to manufacture and transport.
  • Be creative with your containers. Try mason jars with homemade yogurt, fruit and granola or fresh salad fixings, or these awesome bento box ideas for a fun way to mix things up.
  • Skip the paper napkins and plasticware. Find or make some cloth napkins in fun patterns, and throw them in the wash once or twice a week. Pack silverware and eating utensils that can be washed and reused.
  • Consider at least one vegan lunch per week. Meat and dairy tend to have a higher carbon footprint than plant-based foods. Try implementing at least one vegan lunch per week with PB&J or hummus wraps.


Preparing healthy and eco-friendly lunches doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. The key is to have reusable products on hand and have fun with it!


What are you packing this week?