Food and Cuisine

Published on January 25th, 2012 | by Lynn Fang


How to Pack a Healthy, Zero Waste Lunch

fruit cup

Lunch is something we often look over in the morning rush to be on time. We either pack something quick and not so healthy, or just skip making it altogether to buy something near work. A good, healthy lunch is important to making sure you stay energized and centered during the day. It’s also an opportunity to practice being more green!

Fresh, Healthy Food

What have you been eating for lunch? Going out to eat is easy and quick, but restaurants often pile up on the butter and sauce, all while serving giant portions. If you do need to buy food, consider healthier options like whole wheat sandwiches, salads, and soups. Choose more fresh veggies and say no to High Fructose Corn Syrup, found in all conventional sodas, Heinz ketchup, and most sauces.

If you can, bring your own containers, silverware, and napkins to leave no trace.

When making your own lunch, consider using more fresh fruits and veggies, or eating yesterday’s leftovers. Veggie wraps, fruit salads, veggies and hummus, salads, soups, and smoothies. Go with organic, grass-fed meats when possible.


Avoid plastic as much as possible. It often contains BPA, a known carcinogen, and leaches toxic, endocrine-disrupting compounds. The thinner the plastic, the more leaching.

  • Be sure to use glass or stainless steel food containers.
  • Bring real silverware, or get a pair of reusable to-go silverware
  • Bring your own cloth napkins
  • Pack snacks and sandwiches in reusable cloth bags
  • Pack your lunch in a reusable bag or cooler

Check out some of these reusable, handmade snack and lunch bags from Etsy artisans:

eco lunch bagreusable snack bags

[CC Image by chotda via Flickr]

[Lunch bag images used with permission from OrganiLuxe and bluecalla]

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About the Author

is a compost consultant and educator, eco-conscious writer, and intuitive artist. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

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