The Best Green Meal Delivery Kits
As consumers, we can be lazy and even ignorant about the choices we make. Because we don’t immediately see the impact of our decisions, we don’t always recognize the power we have to affect the environment.
In reality, every choice we make concerning the food products we buy and the producers from whom we buy is monumental. These choices directly affect food policy, farming practices, and the environment overall.
Thankfully, consumers are getting more and more conscious of their influence and are trending toward making smarter food choices, including signing up to receive weekly meal delivery kits. A recent study found that meal delivery kits not only reduce food waste by pre-portioning ingredients but also produce a smaller carbon footprint than grocery store meals.
But consumers aren’t the only ones making a greater effort to care for the environment. Many “green” meal delivery services are doing their part to make sure their product sourcing and packaging are environmentally friendly too.
So, which are the best green meal delivery kits and what does it even mean to be “green” in the first place? Keep reading to find out!
What Does It Mean to Be Green?
There is no universal definition for what it means to be “green.” It’s a vague and often misleading label that seems to exist for people to define it as is convenient to them. Put simply, it refers to any environmentally-friendly practice and is usually associated with one or more of the following keywords:
Natural – free of additives like hormones, antibiotics, or colorings. Because this term is not federally regulated, products may be minimally processed.
Organic – defined by the USDA. Plant foods are produced without pesticides, synthetic ingredients, bioengineering, or ionized radiation. Meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy are produced without antibiotics or growth hormones.
Sustainable – efficiently uses nonrenewable resources, enhances environmental quality, often involves a short supply chain, prioritizes conservation.
Whole – typically refers to food that is neither processed nor refined, though this term is not regulated.
Local – locally sourced to promote the local economy and reduce the carbon footprint associated with transportation. The USDA does not specify a distance to determine what is “local” but states may designate that a certain food is grown locally within that state.
We’ve taken these factors into consideration to determine which meal delivery kits are the best for the environmentally-conscious consumer. Read through our picks and check out our reviews to decide which of these green companies is right for your lifestyle.
Best for Organic: Sun Basket
Unlike other meal delivery kits, which provide organic produce when possible, Sun Basket guarantees organic produce 100% of the time, with over 99% of the produce they ship currently being organic. They are a USDA-certified organic handler, meaning all of their organic ingredients are labeled. Being organic doesn’t just refer to plant foods, it also refers to animal products. Sun Basket promises antibiotic- and hormone-free meats and poultry, and when available, grass-fed, grass-finished beef.
Furthermore, Sunbasket’s ingredients are seasonal, so the ingredients you receive in your box may be slightly different than the ones listed in your recipes. By eating seasonally for your region, you can reduce the carbon footprint associated with long-distance shipping of fruits and vegetables grown in warmer locales.
Read more about Sun Basket’ meal delivery kits here.
Best for Sustainability: Plated
Most meal delivery kits practice sustainability by limiting food waste and streamlining supply chains. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that they all stick to sustainable farming practices. If sustainable food is important to you, though, you should choose Plated’s meal delivery kits.
Plated prioritizes thoughtful growing and raising practices and partners with producers who value the Earth as much as they do. That means only using responsibly-raised poultry, pork, and beef, and seafood that comes from sustainable fisheries. Plated also adheres to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch rating system to conserve marine life populations.
To support small businesses, they feature small-batch and hand-crafted specialty items from local artisans. This also means your recipes are sure to be unique and interesting!
Read more about Plated’s meal subscription box here.
Best for Conscious Packaging: Dinnerly
While it’s true that meal delivery kits reduce your carbon footprint, it’s not for a lack of packaging. In fact, the eco-conscious often criticize the copious amounts of paper and plastic required of each weekly box.
Those who are concerned with the amount of waste they produce with each meal delivery kit received are best off subscribing to Dinnerly. First of all, each of their recipes is 6 ingredients or less, limiting the number of individual wrappers per box. Secondly, they skip the paper recipe cards that you’ll find in pretty much every other meal subscription box, opting for digital recipe cards only. Save your recipes in a virtual and more reliable place, while eliminating unnecessary paper waste.
As if these sustainable practices weren’t enough of a selling point, fewer ingredients and no paper recipe cards also means that Dinnerly is cheaper than all other meal delivery services.
Read more about Dinnerly’s meal delivery kits here.
Best for Recyclable Packaging: Martha & Marley Spoon
While it’s easy to eliminate certain materials, like paper recipe cards, there are other materials that are inherently indispensable to a meal subscription box. When it comes to responsible packaging materials, Martha & Marley Spoon is the best meal delivery service.
All of the paper and plastic they use to wrap their products is recyclable. Sometimes, they are even made of previously recycled or repurposed materials. Boxes, box liners, and paper bags can all be recycled in a paper recycling bin. Ice packs, cool packs, foil pouches, and ingredient pouches can all be recycled with plastics.
As an added bonus, Martha & Marley Spoon boxes are SFI certified, meaning they are sourced from sustainably managed forests.
Read more about Martha & Marley Spoon here.
Eat Well & Do Your Part
Environmental change starts with each of us. As consumers, that means we face the task of making responsible, sustainable food decisions. Signing up to receive a meal subscription box is a step in the right direction. Go the extra mile by making sure you choose one that is environmentally conscious.
There are plenty of green meal delivery kits to choose from – this list is just a start. But if you care about the planet and sustainability, try one of the meal delivery services recommended above.
*The information in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical or nutritional advice. You are advised to consult your physician, nutrition or other qualified health provider before consuming any meal or beginning any dietary program.. The information is not intended to be relied upon for medical treatment, recommended diet or diagnosis. Reliance upon any opinion or advice provided is at your own risk