Graça Victoria/istockphoto


Packing your lunch for work instead of grabbing some takeout helps you save money while reducing your garbage footprint, so it's good news for your wallet and the planet. Check out these tips for environmentally sustainable ways to pack your lunch, and ditch that disposable brown bag for some eco-chic reusable lunchtime swag.

A Lunchbox Worth Keeping

Channel your schoolyard days with a cool lunchbox that you can use every day, instead of a paper of plastic bag that you toss when it's time to head back to your desk. Try scouring thrift stores for a kitschy vintage box celebrating a classic cartoon, or go upscale with a sleek, washable fabric tote.

Reusable Sandwich Wrapper

Instead of going through roll after roll of disposable plastic wrap, grab a wipe-clean-and-reuse wrapper that you can tuck your lunchtime sandwich into. You can buy something like a Wrap-N-Mat or, if you've got minimal sewing know-how, you can whip one up yourself with this sandwich wrapper tutorial from The Small Object Steno Pad blog.

Bamboo Utensils

A knife, fork, spoon, spork, or what-have-you made from bamboo is not only reusable, durable, and easy to clean, it's also light to carry. Plus, because bamboo is a fast-growing plant, it's a renewable resource that's sustainable to grow and to harvest, so you can use bamboo utensils without worrying about contributing to deforestation.

Sustainable Drink Holder Thingy

Instead of going through a can of soda or a plastic bottle of water each day, fill up a reusable thermos or a BPA-free water bottle. Another alternative is to make your coffee or tea at work, and keep a ceramic mug in the office kitchenette, or in your employee locker or cubby, so that it's always around when you need it.

TupperwareT or Rubbermaid T or Something Like 'Em

Pack your potato salad or other side dish in a washable, reusable container instead of a landfill clogging disposable styrofoam tub like you'd get from a takeout place. For extra recycling oomph, rinse and re-use an old plastic cottage cheese or sour cream container as your lunchtime snackholder.

Salivating over sustainable eats? Learn how to make your own with help from Emeril Lagasse in Planet Green TV's organic cooking show, Emeril Green.