Pack A Zero Waste Lunch

7 Ways to Pack a Zero Waste Lunch for Earth Day & Every Day

Pack A Zero Waste Lunch

Green at Home Challenge: Zero Waste Lunch

When all three of our kids were in grade school and we were making school lunches every day, we decided that we would find ways to send homemade lunches without using sandwich bags for one year. At first, it was a challenge to find reusable sandwich bags so we made them out of old clothing (just a simple “wrap”). Then reusable lunch bags started popping up in co-ops and earth stores around the city. They had cute designs and Velcro to keep them closed.

Our saving the environment thru our lunch box challenge grew to zero waste so we started buying in bulk and stopped buying individual plastic yogurts, apple sauce, chips and many others to save on plastic and trash.

Back then our biggest challenge was finding eco-friendly small lunch size containers that didn’t leak yogurt or salad dressing.

Today there are many reusable lunch container options to choose from:

  1. Washable, reusable and compostable Bee’s Wrap food storage available at Bibelot Shops in Minneapolis and online at
  2. Wisconsin-based Planet Wise reusable sandwich and snack bags are available in their online store and in many co-ops.
  3. Insulated reusable Klean Kanteen beverage containers found at Linden Hills Co-op in Minneapolis and online at
  4. If you are into DIY there are great tutorials on making your own bags on Pinterest.
  5. Jump into any local coop or natural foods store or visit the Coop Directory to find a store near you and you will find a variety of brands selling reusable items for your lunch box.
  6. Don’t forget to use real silverware!
  7. Say goodbye to bottled water (we like to use Brita water filters).

Our youngest only has one year left of school lunches. I hope we have planted the seed for our kids as they maneuver through taking lunch to college or work. I still spot small containers as I shop they are like magnets to me and I recall the yearly challenge that became a life changer for our family. I can’t honestly remember the last time I bought a box of sandwich bags and that feels good.

Share your zero waste lunch ideas in the comment section below!

Angie Hughes

Wood From the Hood produces high quality lumber and custom wood products recycled from the Twin Cities urban forest.

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