Learn how to pack an eco-friendly lunch if you want to break the habit of buying your lunch each day and using single-use items that end up in landfills, adding to the plastic problem.

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While it may seem like extra work, it really isn’t once you get organized and make it a routine.

Use the 5 steps below to start taking an eco-friendly lunch and reduce your environmental footprint.

It’s a better choice for the health of the planet, but it also gives you more control over your own health and food budget.

1. Choose Reusable Containers

An excellent place to start with eco-friendly lunches is to use reusable containers to transport food and beverages. Plastic wrap and bags contribute to the growing plastic problem, while reusable containers do not.

There are many types of reusable products on the market today, so finding something is not difficult. And, you’ll save money in the long run.

Keeping Food Cold

One trick with reusable containers if you want to keep the food cold is to use icepacks. These also come in reusable format and can be stored in the freezer until you need them.

Keeping Food Warm

A traditional thermos is a perfect way to keep your food warm. The concept has evolved over the years to include thermos bowls that keep things like soups and stews warm. Enjoying a hearty homemade soup while helping the environment is a comforting way to take your lunch break.

2. Make a Plan and Shop Ahead

Now that you have how to transport your food in an eco-friendly way under control, the next step is to plan for the food you’ll need and shop ahead.

It may seem like extra effort, but if you organize what you’ll need for your lunches ahead of time and get it organized, it will actually save time as the week goes on. You might actually get to the end of the week with more energy than usual.

3. Do Meal Preps Ahead of Time

It is well worth the effort to prepare meals and snacks ahead of time in bulk. You can freeze some items in portion sizes and take them out the night before to thaw out in the fridge.

Other things that are easy to prepare ahead are chopped vegetables and fruit salad, portions of crackers and pretzels, and snack-size containers of yogurt or dipping sauces.

4. Take Leftovers for Lunch

Another easy way to pack a lunch and save on the food budget is to take along leftovers for lunch the next day. Some people deliberately cook extra for the evening meal to have enough for the next day’s lunch. And, it’s an excellent way to cut down on food waste.

Some families and friends get together once a month or so and cook large quantities of food to portion out and freeze for meals and lunches. Bottled foods also make portable lunches and meals.

It’s a big undertaking, but many people find it a nice social occasion when you share the work. And, it pays off for weeks after in saved time and effort.

5. Source Restaurants that are Eco-Friendly

If you decide to eat lunches from restaurants and take-outs, try to source places that are using eco-friendly and sustainable methods in their food preparation and transportation. Avoid establishments that still use single-use items.

Many businesses are looking for ways to be kinder to the environment, and they know their customers appreciate their efforts. It’s nice to reward them for their consciousness.

Using the steps outlined above will get you well on your way to taking along eco-friendly lunches that support your health and budget, as well as caring for the planet’s environment.

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