This reusable lunch kit is good for the earth and your food budget

Bringing your food to work or school cuts waste in more ways than one.

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reusable lunch items
Ditch the disposables. Josh Dickinson

Bringing your leftover lasagna to work is good for both the environment and your budget. Brown-bagging it keeps food waste out of landfills, but you should actually avoid the brown bag too—as well as utensils like plastic forks and knives that will end up in a bin when you’re done. Instead, build yourself a quality lunch kit that’ll work for years, not hours. Just imagine Earth slipping in a note for you to find that says, “Thanks for making less trash.”

1. Coffee cup

Java will stay hot for up to six hours inside the 12-ounce Hydro Flask coffee mug. A vacuum-​­sealed chamber between double stainless-steel sides insulates your beverage throughout endless meetings.

2. Lunchbox

Throw the PackIt commuter lunch bag in the icebox overnight to turn the 10-by-9-inch sack into a food igloo. Freezable gel in its walls will keep your grub at a safe temp for up to six hours (in our experience).

3. Container

PrepNaturals made its storage containers out of a strong ­silica-​­based glass called boro­sili­cate, which lets it withstand the fridge, microwave, or even an 800-degree oven. A vent in the lid lets out steam.

4. Silverware

Duluth Trading Company’s titanium spork is light—just 0.63 ounce. It’s also strong. Even when you dig the serrated edge on the left side of the utensil into a dense reheated meatball, it won’t bend.

5. Cling film

Reusable Bee’s Wrap replaces wasteful plastic baggies with sheets of organic cotton. Treatments of beeswax, jojoba oil, and tree resin make the surface malleable and clingy. Clean with soap and water.

This article was originally published in the Summer 2019 Make It Last issue of Popular Science.