Pack a Healthy Zero-Waste Lunch

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Pack a Healthy Zero-Waste Lunch

Zero waste means you avoid packing lunch items that you will throw away at the end of your meal. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American generates 4.9 pounds of trash per day. Use our zero-waste lunch guide to help you save money, reduce waste and protect the environment.

Switch to a reusable lunch bag or box.

Plastic and paper lunch bags are things of the past. Find an insulated, reusable lunch bag and freezer packs at any local discount store to use daily. They are also easy to clean out and sanitize if any messes happen.

Avoid pre-packaged food.

A single-serving cheese stick, granola bar or yogurt may seem like easy additions to your lunch, but they cause a lot of waste and recycling. These foods may contain unhealthy amounts of added sugar, salt and fat. Instead, buy fruits, vegetables and yogurt in bulk. Research recipes to make homemade granola bars. Portion servings for your lunch.

Choose reusable containers.

How often do you purchase single-use plastic bags, drinks and food containers? That’s a lot of money spent and waste going into landfills. Instead, buy sturdy reusable glass, stainless steel or microwave-safe plastic food and beverage containers in bulk. While there may be an initial upfront cost, you can repeatedly wash and reuse these items.

Pack utensils and a washable napkin.

Most meals we eat require cutlery and napkins. Instead of plastic and paper, switch to real utensils and cloth napkins. Discount stores carry cheap utensils, or you could consider a set of BPA-free plastic or bamboo travel utensils that come in a small carrying case. Cloth napkins can easily be thrown in the wash and produce less paper waste.

Eat compostable food.

Consider packing fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts, which are great for composting. Bring home your leftover food scraps in your reusable container to be composted. Starting a compost pile in your backyard is a great way to help the environment and enrich your soil.

While these changes to your lunch routine may cost more upfront, they will save you money and help the environment over time. As you make these purchases, save even more by using our Visa Platinum® Rewards Credit Card. Earn 2% cashback on gas and groceries and 1% back on all other purchases. Compare our credit cards to find the right one for you!


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