Whether you’re taking a quick lunch break from your desk, or packing up the kids for a day at the park, there are simple ways you can be ready with zero waste lunch essentials.

#1 Tip – Keep your zero waste essentials so you have it when you need it – keep extras in your diaper bag, wallet, backpack, purse, car, etc. Stainless steel, glass, and even bamboo make great alternatives to single-use plastic. They’re not only functional, stylish but can be a conversation starter too!

Why should you skip the plastic sandwich bags and containers? For starters, one report suggests that if we keep consuming and wasting plastic like we are today, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050. In addition, chemicals in many plastics are known hormone disruptors that leach out of plastic containers, into our food, and enter our bodies. And if plastic in our oceans and bodies isn’t enough, by choosing reusable items over single-use plastic, you’ll save money too!

Here’s a list of items to have to help you create zero waste lunches, even while on the go. Stock up now so you can quit the single-use lunch bag, bottle and cutlery habit. You’ll lighten your footprint, and you can stop (literally) throwing money away with each meal.

Zero Waste Lunch Essential #1 – Stainless steel containers

Zero Waste Lunch Essentials
Having a drawer with a few different lunch containers makes packing a zero waste lunch easy. Be prepared with various shapes and sizes along with some fully seal-able options, and you can pack up lunch faster than waiting in line at a take-out counter. If you find yourself eating out, bring one along for leftovers! Here are some plastic-free options to consider:

Zero Waste Lunch EssentialsZero Waste Lunch EssentialsZero Waste Lunch Essentials

Zero Waste Lunch Essential #2 – Reusable snack bagszero waste

Reusable snack bags are perfect to have on-hand any time anywhere. They’re light and compact, and will keep your purse and backpack crumb-free. Load up on snacks from the bulk store using your own containers, or whip up some homemade energy bites or granola bars and you’ve got the ultimate zero waste snack!

Zero Waste Lunch Essential #3 – Reusable Coffee Cup

Zero Waste Lunch Essentials

Glass Reusable Coffee Cup

Zero Waste Lunch Essentials

Stainless Steel Reusable Coffee Cup

You might have a coffee cup at your desk, but do you take it with you when you take a little break to the local coffee shop? Get in the habit to BYO any time you head out for that caffeine fix, and you’ll help reduce the billions of coffee cups that are thrown out each year (most of them cannot be recycled or composted in municipal systems).

Don’t forget to ask if there’s a BYOC discount – many coffee shops have one as an extra incentive to go zero waste! Check out these awesome glass travel mugs, for style without plastic:

Zero Waste Lunch Essential #4- Insulated Water Bottle

Zero Waste Lunch EssentialsYou’ve probably seen these everywhere – the S’well water bottles are widely popular for good reason. They keep beverages cold for 24 hours – perfect for ice cold water or even celebratory picnics with a little bubbly! They are made with high quality stainless steel so your water stays fresh and free from chemicals that leach out of plastic bottles. They were created with a mission to reduce single-use plastic and they are doing it with style!

Zero Waste Lunch Essential #5 – Reusable Plastic-Free Cutlery

Zero Waste Lunch EssentialsYour new zero waste picnic bundle how has something to eat and drink from, so cap it off with the cutlery and you’re all set! Toss a couple bamboo “sporks” in your bag, car, and desk and next time you’re getting food to-go, you can say no to the single-use plastic cutlery that are filling up our landfills and oceans.

Zero Waste Lunch Essentials

Zero Waste Lunch Essential #6 – Reusable all purpose bag (that you carry on you every day as it folds to the size of a piece of sushi)

Zero Waste Lunch EssentialsAlthough majority of Envirosax’s product line is made from plastic, I figured this is the only plastic bag I’d really need again and it will likely (and literally) last forever. Now whenever the grocery person asks you whether you need a plastic bag, you can pull out this Envirosax that folds into the size of a piece of sushi from your wallet or purse. I find it super handy and I always have it on me.

Or, make your own Boomerang bag:

Boomerang Bags is a grassroots, community driven movement tackling plastic pollution at its source. Volunteers from all walks of life get together to make re-useable ‘boomerang bags’ using recycled materials, as a means to provide a sustainable alternative to plastic bags.

There you have it! 6 essentials for your purse, desk or diaper bag to keep you fueled and hydrated, zero waste, and while on the go.

We are so excited to bring you these simple solutions to help you reduce waste and can’t wait to hear what you think. Tell us below or on our facebook page – how will you make your next lunch zero waste?

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