Nothing adds convenience to your life like streamlining mealtime. Opting to use a meal service can help save time and money. It can also lead to less food waste, which is important from a social and environmental perspective.
If being eco-friendly is driving your meal kit delivery service decisions, you'll want to stick with a service that is truly eco-friendly. Here are some of our favorite meal kit companies for the home chef who likes convenience — and who's also environmentally conscientious.
Our Top Eco-Friendly Meal Kits
1 - Sun Basket (Editor's Choice)
Best match for: People looking for a company that's committed to recycling.
When it comes to meal kit delivery services and being eco-friendly, one of the biggest concerns has to do with packaging and the shipping process. While it may not be possible to control all of the aspects of shipping meal kits, Sun Basket does what they can where they can, using 100% recyclable materials. Even the ice packs used during shipping are recyclable, which can't always be said for other services and their ice packs.
When it comes to being eco-friendly, though, Sun Basket doesn't stop their commitment to their shipping and packaging practices. The food used in their meal kits is sustainably sourced and uses non-GMO ingredients. With proper crop rotation and even sustainable seafood practices, Sun Basket is at the forefront of eco-friendly meal kit delivery services.
Of course, choosing a delivery business comes down to more than whether or not to avoid non-recyclable plastic packaging and the inclusion of healthy, fresh ingredients. Sun Basket offers a wide variety of kits, including Classic and Family menus. With options like Paleo Lean, Gluten-free, you'll have plenty of options to get you through the week.
2 - Purple Carrot
Best match for: Vegans looking for meal delivery services that suit their dietary needs.
While vegan box options can be found from many meal kit services, it can be challenging to find a company that specializes in vegan meal kits. If you've been searching for delicious meal kits that are not only suitable for vegans but are actually designed specifically for vegan diets, consider Purple Carrot meal kit delivery services and you can say goodbye to uninspired and flavorless vegan meals.
Many companies have been under fire for how opting for plant-based meals and cutting animal products and meat out of their menu lineup makes an immediate impact on the company footprint and helps make Purple Carrot an eco-friendly meal service. Purple Carrot's commitment to the environment extends to packaging and shipping practices as well. Much of the packaging is recyclable or compostable. The company also includes tips on how to reuse their packaging to reduce waste.
Purple Carrot promises healthy food delivered to your door every week. With multiple plans to choose from starting at $9.99 per serving, there are options available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You'll even find seasonal snack options with prices starting at less than $5.
3 - Green Chef
Best match for: People looking for an organic meal box.
As a company, Green Chef strives to create meal kits that are environmentally conscientious. Not only is Green Chef USDA-certified for organic meal kits (the first company to be so), Green Chef also sources all ingredients responsibly. Animal welfare is a top priority for those animal products used in meal kits, the company's carbon footprint is kept as small as possible, and the packaging is recyclable. Like other meal kit delivery service companies, the pre-portioned ingredients help to limit unnecessary food waste.
Each box from Green Chef includes pre-measured ingredients and features easy-to-follow recipes. You can expect new meals and recipes available every week and different types of plan options — from keto, to balanced living, to plant-based, Green Chef has a selection of meals that will appeal to you. Exiting recipes — many of which are available online — keep your mealtime exciting and allow you to recreate the prepared meals at your local grocery store.
Prices are competitively priced and Green Chef also runs specials and sales that will give you an even better price point per serving. Both the included recipe and the ingredients are color-coded to make preparing your food that much easier — even for a beginner.
4 - Hello Fresh
Best match for: Customers searching for a meal box that features fresh produce and ingredients at a great price.
Hello Fresh was on the scene early with meal kits and home delivery. While they may fall under the traditional category when it comes to meal kit companies, they also make the environment a priority by choosing to source ingredients from local growers. Locally sourced ingredients mean that the shipping distance is less, which helps mitigate some of the environmental impacts we see in the shipping practices from similar companies out there.
Fresh is a great option for affordable and healthy meals delivered directly to your home. Most recipes require less than 30 minutes of food prep and a rotating menu helps ensure that you don't get tired of the recipe options. Plans are available for two or four people and you can choose between 2, 3, or 4 meals per week. Fresh delivers meals up to three times per week, so you can expect your healthy ingredients to be as fresh as possible when it's delivered.
While the packaging isn't entirely recyclable, Hello Fresh does include information on how to recycle different packaging components. Like most other companies, the ice packs are not able to be recycled.
5 - Blue Apron
Best match for: Those looking for responsibly sourced ingredients and a well-established name.
Blue Apron was one of the first big names in the market. There's a reason the company has become so well-known and well-liked. Responsibly sourced meats, seafood, and produce — and GMO-free — help keep both your diet and the environment clean.
Though steps have been taken to reduce the company's impact on the environment, less attention has been paid to packaging practices. Unlike other meal kit companies, Blue Apron does not box meals individually inside the main shipping box. This does save on some packing materials but diminishes the convenience factor. With family-sized plans beginning at $8. 99 per serving, it's an affordable option to get healthy food on your table.
If you're looking for vegetarian meals, you're in luck because Blue Apron does have a vegetarian-specific plan. However, if you need another specialized dietary plan — like diabetes-safe or dairy-free — you'll have better luck using a different food service.
Committing to a service can be intimidating. Aren't sure which company you should try? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions — and the answers that may help you decide which company to go with.
When it comes to determining which delivery service is the most environmentally friendly, you may need to decide which environmental components you want to focus on. While some companies are better for box and packaging concerns, others do a better job at sourcing their components in ways that don't make as much of a negative impact on the environment. For a well-rounded eco-friendly company, Sun Basket may be your best bet.
There are pros and cons to using food services. You'll make a positive impact on the environment (and your wallet) by reducing food waste. However, you'll also be impacting the environment through shipping and packaging. Choosing the right delivery company can go a long way toward making your delivery kits environmentally friendly.
HelloFresh does a great job of being environmentally responsible. There are other companies out there that do a better job of using recyclable shipping materials, but Hello Fresh does take the time to share information on how to use, recycle, and dispose of packaging materials. In addition to their shipping and packaging practices, HelloFresh cuts down on the environmental impact of shipping by sourcing locally whenever possible.
Convenience always comes with a price tag, but it's important to take a look at the big picture and not just the price per dish. saving time — both in the kitchen and at your grocery stores. You're also buying less and wasting less. Factor all of that in before looking at the value.
In general, expect the best price per meal to happen when you're buying a larger plan. Just like at the grocery store, organic plans may cost you more than their non-organic counterpart. Many of the services offer free gifts, meals, regular sales, and referral coupons, so don't forget to add that in when you're determining value. We do think HelloFresh usually strikes the right balance between value and best environmental practices.
The Right Meal Service Company for You
You're probably weighing a lot of components when you decide on the company you go with for weekly box deliveries. Outline your highest priorities — whether it's organic ingredients, low carb content, or the cost per dish — and take a good look at how the different company profiles here fit in with your eating goals.
If we could recommend only one company from the list above, though, it would have to be Sun Basket. We love the commitment to green living, from the recyclable ice packs to the antibiotic-free and hormone-free meat products, the dedication to creating a green and environmentally responsible company is clear. The many product options, including grab-and-go breakfasts and snacks, and free gifts sweeten the deal while keeping your daily food selection exciting.
Our #1 Recommendation