How to Make Meal Prep More Earth-Friendly

Are your meal prep habits wasteful? Find out how to choose more sustainable options for meal prepping for the week.

As awareness (slowly but surely) continues to grow around how we can make small changes to impact our planet, it seems like the perfect time to talk about Earth-friendly meal prep. We’re the generation who grew up with the idea that everything was disposable and replaceable, which led to less-than optimal habits, like the regular employment of single-use plastic and trashing instead of reusing. Now that times are changing, it makes sense that we’d be a little more mindful of the planet when it comes to meal-prep, too. Here are a few quick and easy ways to make your meal-prep good for you and the planet.

1. Swap plastic containers for glass ones

Two plastic food containers with green vegetable (salad, basil, dill, sorrel, peas, cucumber, pepper) on a shelf of a fridge.

This is pretty easy, and it doesn’t have to expensive either. Many of us tend to buy foods that come in glass jars; when they’re empty, wash and reuse them! If you want to buy, though, and you want something oven, microwave, and dishwasher friendly. Pyrex makes many great glass containers in various sizes that also come with lids. Perfect for transporting a salad, some nuts, or soup!

2. Ditch the saran wrap and opt for beeswax

Cling wrap, plastic wrap, saran wrap, cling film… whatever you call it, our planet doesn’t really love it. Also, your wallet doesn’t either. Ever stopped to think of how much money you’ve spent on that annoying stuff over the years? The good news is that you can now buy beeswax wraps (easily cleaned with cold water and alcohol-free dish soap), which you simply warm in your hands, and then shape to fit whatever it is you’re trying to wrap. Tons of them are available on Amazon and in grocery stores nationwide.

3. Buy reusable silicone snack and sandwich bags

Ziplock bags are easy, but it’s much better to invest in a silicone food storage bag that can be used repeatedly, with the only environmental impact being water. Stasher does bags in various sizes that can be refrigerated, frozen, microwaved, and dishwasher.

4. Get a lunch bag or lunch box

Couple of business people outside the office buildings in downtown waiting for a meeting in Chicago, USA. Having a lunch break together during a working day.

As convenient as it is to throw your lunch into a Target bag, resist the urge. Treat yourself; get a nice lunch bag or lunch box that can hold all your various foods and will survive a leak here or there without staining or developing an odor. Bye-bye, single-use plastic!

5. Invest in silicone baking mats

Cleaning oven trays can be a pain, and although it's tempting to line them with foil or parchment paper, the truth is it is wasteful, and most of the time, your food bakes just as well without it! There are, thankfully, silicone baking mats that you can put on top of your oven trays that will help bake your food and soak up most of the mess. Problem solved!

6. Get a grill basket or a grill mat

If you’re more into grilling than you are baking, swap the foil for a grill mat or a grill basket. You can still keep all the juices, but you can simply clean and reuse; no more money is thrown away on foil.

7. Opt for cloth napkins

Overhead shot of kitchen digital food weight scale on red gingham check tablecloth.

Want to waste less, and it makes whatever your eating feel a little fancier? Cloth napkins are the way to go!

What do you think of these tips? Which of these tips are you most excited to try?

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