Here’s How To Pack A Truly Plastic-Free Lunch

With the ban on plastic straws dominating the conversation this summer, a lot of people are looking to reduce their dependence on plastic this year. Eliminating single-use plastic bags in your lunch can help a lot with that. But if you’re aiming for a COMPLETELY zero plastic lunch, you have to start at the store.

Step One: Bring Your Reusable Containers To The Store

You can skip the plastic bags by buying your bulk food in reusable containers. Simply bring your mason jars, baby food jars, cloth bags, etc. to the cash desk upon your arrival. We’ll weigh them, and write the weight on the bottom. Then, we subtract the weight of your container from the total weight of your purchase, ensuring you’re only paying for your food.

Step Two: Choose Glass Containers Over Plastic

When you’re shopping for things like apple cider vinegar, you have some options. Some is packaged in glass, some in plastic. By choosing glass, you’ll ensure that you’re making the most eco-friendly choice, and reducing the risk of chemicals leeching into your food.

Step Three: Batch Cook

Cook up your grains, legumes, meats, etc. in large quantities. Chop your veg, and pre-make any sauces and dressings you’ll need for the week’s lunches. Then, the night before, assemble the next day’s lunch, to make the morning easier.

Plastic-Free Lunch Recipe

Shopping List:

To take:

  • reusable tote bag
  • containers for bulk items (6)
  • reusable bags for produce

To buy:

  • quinoa
  • chickpeas
  • Maison Orphee Olive Oil (glass jar)
  • Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar (glass jar)
  • garlic powder
  • cayenne pepper
  • sea salt
  • ground flax
  • avocados
  • tomatoes


Soak the chickpeas overnight. The next day, boil them for 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours. Once they’ve cooled, store them in a sealed container in the fridge. Cook quinoa according to this guide. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.

For the Quinoa Bowl:

Add 1 cup of quinoa, and 1/2 – 1 cup chickpeas to a reusable container. Chop avocado and tomato, and add to the container. In a small container, mix together 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 Tbsp ground flax, spices and sea salt to taste. Shake vigorously. The next day, pack your Quinoa Bowl and dressing in a reusable tote, along with fruit, cookies, etc. in reusable containers. That’s it! Plastic-free lunchtime.

If you’re looking for good quality plastic-free reusable containers, check out our friends at Silly Goose Kids.¬†They’ve got lots of options for the whole family! It may not be possible to eliminate plastic from all areas of your life, but anywhere you can reduce is a great start! Happy plastic-free lunching!

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