The Ultimate ECOlunchbox Quiz
Ready to choose your perfect reusable lunchbox and say goodbye to plastic? Take our online quiz to Pick Your Ultimate ECOlunchbox.
Whether you're packing your child's lunch, heading outdoors or meal prepping a fabulous salad bowl, ECOlunchbox stainless steel food containers are great plastic-free solutions. We've developed an online quiz to guide you through your selection process and published this guide to educate our community about considerations to keep in mind when selecting an eco-friendly lunchbox.
Lunchtime can be a great opportunity to not only nourish our bodies and be a good citizen by helping save our planet from needless plastic pollution. Single-use plastic products commonly used at lunchtime, such as disposable Ziploc baggies and pre-packaged foods, contribute significantly to litter in our oceans and contribute to global warming.
With so many options on the market, how do you choose the best reusable lunch box for you? Take our Pick Your Ultimate ECOlunchbox Quiz and read on to learn about important factors to consider.
When it comes to reusable lunch boxes, there are many different materials to choose from, including plastic, stainless steel, glass, and silicone. Plastic can leach estrogen-mimicking chemicals into your food and is not as durable as other materials, so we don’t recommend it.
More eco-friendly and non-toxic materials are stainless steel and silicone. We don’t recommend glass when packing food to go because it’s heavy and breakable. While more expensive than plastic alternatives, non-breakable stainless steel lunch boxes with leak-proof silicone lids can last for many years with proper care. Non-toxic silicone is not made from petroleum like plastic and won’t break and crack like plastic containers.
Size and Capacity
Consider how much food you typically bring for lunch and choose a lunch box with enough capacity to hold it all. Pack your lunch and use a measuring cup to gauge the quantity of food you tend to eat at lunchtime. Or measure your sandwich to see how big it is in inches. Check out our Perfect Portions guide to cross reference your desired capacity and dimensional size with our products so you can fit the right fit.
It's also a good idea to look for a lunch box with compartments or nesting containers to help keep your food organized and prevent spills. We don’t recommend lunch boxes with dividers because they are harder to keep clean and often leak.
Ease of Cleaning
A lunch box that is easy to clean is essential, especially if you plan on using it multiple times a week. Look for a lunch box with smooth, non-porous surfaces that can be easily wiped clean.
Dishwasher safe options are also convenient. We hope you’re convinced that avoiding plastic is the healthiest option for people and the planet, but there’s another reason not to choose plastic lunch boxes: they are not dishwasher safe. When exposed to the high temperatures of a dishwasher, plastic becomes even more toxic and porous. On the other hand, stainless steel and silicone wash safely in both home and commercial dishwashers.
Don’t forget to check your lunch box’s care and use instructions. Keeping your lunch box clean and hygienic is the first step to making sure you can use it safely for a long time. Stainless steel is built to last with proper care, but sometimes people don’t know how to reduce the risk of corrosion and stains.
If you want to keep your food hot or cold, look for a thermal food container with high-performance insulation. Insulated lunch boxes are made with materials that help maintain the temperature of your food, but often times they are insulated with plastic foam or made from mixed materials, like molded plastic combined with steel, and cannot be recycled at end of life.
Vacuum insulated products are more eco-friendly and offer exceptional thermal performance. We recommend consumers look for a products that work great -- keeping your food hot or cold for 8 hours or more - and are healthy for people and the planet. Yes, with some research you can find products offering a win-win, like our Blue Water Bento Insulated Canister with its innovative circular design. This means the product is made from non-toxic steel, silicone and bamboo materials that can be fully recycled and composted when the product is discarded.
A durable lunch box is important to ensure it will last for years to come. You’re going to get the best cost to value ratio by picking a product that won’t break and you can keep clean and hygienic for a very long time. Sometimes consumers complain they can’t afford lunch boxes made from expensive materials like stainless steel and silicone, but often they don’t realize that these uber-durable lunch boxes will end up saving them money.
An analysis comparing the cost of purchasing reusable ECOlunchboxes instead of relying on conventional throw-aways convincingly shows that going green at lunchtime is the most affordable option. To learn more about the dollars and cents of resusables vs. throw-aways, check out our Litterless Lunch Study.
Plastic pollution is a major problem that affects our oceans and contributes to global warming. Every year, millions of tons of plastic waste end up in our oceans, littering the landscape and harming marine life. By choosing a plastic-free lunch box, we can reduce our dependence on single-use plastic and do our part in protecting the environment.
In addition to reducing plastic pollution, our plastic-free choices will have a lesser carbon footprint.
By considering these factors, you can confidently choose a reusable lunch box that checks all the important boxes. You don’t have to compromise function when selecting your ultimate reusable lunch box! By following these ECOlunchbox pointers, you can successfully identify a lunch container solution that is plastic free, healthy for you and the planet, and meets your individual needs and preferences.
So next time you pack your lunch, make the switch to a reusable option and join the movement to reduce plastic pollution. Together, we can make a difference and create a brighter, healthier future for all.