9 Products That Will Make You Want to Pack Your Lunch Every Day

iStock.com/Milkos
iStock.com/Milkos

You may already know why packing lunch is a smart idea: Meals made at home are often healthier and cheaper than what you’d buy around the corner from your office. The downside is that bringing your lunch requires planning, even if it’s just setting your alarm a few minutes early so you have time to toss your leftovers in a bag. But one way to motivate yourself is to buy an adult lunch box that you can get excited about. Instead of brown bagging it, check out these unisex boxes, bags, and other tools that will inspire you to pack your lunch more often.

1. Twist & Seal "Lidless" Lunch Box

Stop spending time in the morning scrambling to find a lid to match your lunch container. This lunchbox from UncommonGoods eliminates the need for a lid altogether, instead using a flexible interior sleeve to protect your food.

After loading your lunch into the box, twist the inner membrane three times and secure it with the outer strap. The container keeps your food cool for up to six hours and hot for up to four. And it prevents spills even through your bumpiest commutes.

Buy it from UncommonGoods for $25.

2. Duo Lunch Box

Few things are more disappointing than packing a beautiful salad in the morning only to find a soggy, wilted mess by lunchtime. Separating the components of your lunch is one way to keep it fresh for hours, but that can be a hassle if you don’t have spare containers or extra space in your bag. Mepal's Duo lunchbox solves this problem by acting as two lunchboxes in one.

Store leafy greens (or a sandwich) in the bottom compartment and stash wet toppings like tomatoes up top. You can also use the upper compartment to store napkins and cutlery. For liquids like salad dressing, there’s an additional mini-container that fits inside the lid. By waiting until the last minute to toss all your ingredients together, you can be sure your lunch is as fresh as possible when it’s time to eat.

Buy it from these retailers:

3. Bee’s Wrap Eco-Friendly Sandwich Wrap Set

Food covered in pattered wax wraps
Bee's Wrap, Amazon

This patterned plastic-wrap alternative is so pretty you may be hesitant to take it off your food. Each reusable wrap from Bee’s Wrap is made with eco-friendly beeswax and jojoba oil, both of which have natural antibacterial properties. Warm the wrap up with your hands to soften the wax and mold it around food, and then set it aside it to cool into a protective seal. Printed with illustrations of bears and bees, the wraps are washable, reusable, and, once it’s time to throw them away, compostable.

Buy it from Amazon for $21.

4. MalloMe Stainless Steel Straws

Reusable steel straws
MalloMe, Amazon

Being kind to the environment doesn’t have to mean giving up your straw habit. These stainless steel straws from MalloMe are strong enough to outlast a decade’s worth of plastic straws. Each set comes straight and bent straws in three widths, adding up to six straws in total. The pack also includes soft silicon tips to protect your lips from hot or cold liquids and two brushes for heavy-duty cleaning.

Buy them from Amazon for $12.

5. Rerii Stainless Steel Travel Cutlery Set

Portable cutlery set on placemat
Rerii, Amazon

Leave your home cutlery in the kitchen where it belongs. This portable set of utensils from Rerii is meant to travel to your office day after day. One set comes with a spoon, fork, and chopsticks, each made from high-quality stainless steel. The flatware is small enough to fit inside the small stainless steel tube, which can then be stored inside a fabric carrying case to stay safe in transit.

Buy it from Amazon for $13.

6. Lunch Box With Cutting Board Lid

This lunchbox is for those overachievers who can’t help showing off their culinary skills in the office kitchen. When strapped to the container with the silicone band, the bamboo piece acts as a lid. But when it’s time to unpack your lunch, it doubles as a cutting board. Use it for slicing up tomatoes for your salad or avocados for your toast. It can even work as a mini cheese and charcuterie plate if you’re want to throw an impromptu office happy hour (or just treat yourself to a very fancy desk lunch).

Buy it from UncommonGoods for $30.

7. PackIt Freezable Bento Box

Plastic food container and patterned bag
PackIt, Amazon

Looking for a way to pack your lunch so it doesn’t need to be refrigerated? No problem—this container comes with a freezable sleeve that chills your food all day. Just stick the colorful bag in your freezer before you go to bed, and by morning it will be ready to act as your portable fridge. The plastic container has three separate compartments for bento-style food storage, and it’s safe for the freezer or the microwave. (If you’re looking for other ways to keep your packed lunch cold, we've got some more tips here.)

Buy it from Amazon for $15 and at these other retailers:

8. Horween Leather Lunch Bag

Leather lunch bag on table
Oleksynprannyk, Etsy

Give yourself an incentive to pack your lunch by bringing it in a bag you’ll want to show off. While many lunch bags come in floral, feminine styles, there aren't very many that will go just as well with a suit and tie as with a sundress. This leather bag from the Etsy store OleksynPrannyk, meanwhile, would be an elegant choice for either men or women. The leather comes from the Chicago-based Horween Leather Company—one of the oldest continuously operating tanneries in the U.S. Each lunch bag is handcrafted and made to order.

Buy it from Etsy for $39.

9. Prepd Pack

Person holding wooden lunch box

A Prepd Pack has everything you need for a convenient, stylish lunch. It’s beautiful on the outside, with a slated bamboo case, and practical on the inside, with a spot for magnetic cutlery, a silicone mat that unfolds to give you a place to eat, and modular containers designed to perfectly fit into the box. One Prepd pack comes with one large container and two smaller ones that you can mix and match to store what you’re eating on any given day.

Buy it from Prepd for $69.

These Modern, Minimalist Cremation Urns Double as Planters

C.C. Boyce
C.C. Boyce

Cremation is becoming an increasingly common end-of-life plan, but many have lamented the lack of options when selecting an urn to store their loved one's ashes. Many of these vessels take the form of drab-looking vases that, for some people, serve as reminders of a painful event.

That’s why C.C. Boyce stepped in. The Los Angeles-based designer and woodworker created a collection of “planturns”—urns that double as planters—to fill a gap in the market.

“A while back a friend’s father passed away and they couldn’t find a cremation urn that they liked, so they asked me to make something, and I did, thinking this would just be a one-off custom job,” Boyce said in a video uploaded to Kickstarter. “But when I posted the final product to Instagram, I was flooded with messages from people all across the death care industry—people who took care of pets as well as people.”

Plant urns
C.C. Boyce

Some wanted an urn with a more modern aesthetic, while others wanted a subtler piece that would effortlessly blend with their household decor. The symbolism of death fusing with new life has not gone unnoticed, either.

Boyce spent a year experimenting with different designs and settled on two styles: one that comes in speckled maple, and another that comes in a two-toned walnut and sycamore. All of the vessels have two parts that attach via magnetic pull, so even if the planturn gets knocked over, the ashes will still be safe and sound.

The bottom part contains a hand-waxed muslin bag to store your loved one’s cremated remains, and the top part features a glass or ceramic holder for your plant of choice, whether it’s a succulent or air plant.

They come in three sizes, which will vary in accordance with the amount of ashes you want to store. A small planturn is suitable for small pets, while a large can hold the ashes of a person. Get it on Kickstarter for $225 to $500, depending on the size.

Celebrate Earth Day With 7 Eco-Friendly Fashion Options That Won't Pollute the Planet

iStock.com/lolostock
iStock.com/lolostock

Fashion is one of Earth’s most resource-intensive, environment-polluting industries. Manufacturing clothing requires vast quantities of water, international transport, and labor—and after all that, clothes regularly get thrown away after just a few months or years. (In part because recycling fabric into new textiles is very difficult.)

But that doesn’t mean that you need to become a nudist in order to save the Earth. There are plenty of clothing companies that take their environmental impact very seriously, using recycled and organic materials and trying to minimize the carbon footprint of their supply chain and manufacturing process. This Earth Day, take a look at some of the clothing that allows you to feel good about looking good.

1. Ralph Lauren Earth Polo

While it’s easier to find eco-friendly clothing at outdoor and sporting retailers, some mainstream fashion companies are getting in on the trend, too. Ralph Lauren just launched its first polo shirt made of recycled material—the Earth Polo. Available for both men and women in four different colors, the shirts are made with fabric derived from plastic bottles. Though they look nearly identical to the company’s regular styles, each Earth Polo is made from approximately 12 recycled plastic bottles. And to reduce water pollution, the colored fabrics are dyed with a process that requires no water.

Buy it from Ralph Lauren for men and women for $90.

2. Madewell Second Wave Swimwear

Madewell launched its first sustainable swimwear line in February 2019, meaning that you can feel a little less guilty about ocean trash while frolicking at the beach. Made from recycled plastic bottles, Second Wave swimsuits are available in two-piece or one-piece designs in a variety of colors and patterns. According to the company, the one-piece suits incorporate material from eight used plastic bottles, while its separates are each made from two plastic bottles. (In other words, if you want to save the environment, cover up!) We like the simplicity of this $80 red one-piece suit, but there are plenty of options to choose from starting at $45 per piece. Sizes run from XX small to 3X.

Buy it at Madewell for $45 and up.

3. PrAna Shirts

The California-based clothing company prAna is all about sustainability, from its materials to its manufacturing to the composting program at its headquarters. It makes pieces with organic and recycled materials and participates in fair trade and bluesign certification. You can filter items in its online store based on whether it’s made with recycled content, and there’s a lot to choose from, whether you’re looking for something to wear to the office, the beach, or yoga class. The Iselle t-shirt line for women is made with 92 percent recycled polyester and 8 percent hemp (which requires fewer pesticides and less water to produce than cotton), and comes in short-sleeve (left), long-sleeve, and tank designs. For men, the Transverse line of shirts is made with 95 percent recycled polyester and 5 percent hemp. There are also dressier options—the Merger button-down shirts (right) are made with 44 percent recycled polyester, 53 percent hemp, and 3 percent spandex.

Buy it from prAna.

4. Patagonia Stretch Rainshadow Jacket

A navy blue Patagonia jacket
Patagonia, Backcountry.com

Patagonia’s Rainshadow jackets are designed to keep you dry but cool during summer showers or while you’re working hard. The latest version of the design—which is fully waterproof but still breathable—is made with ECONYL, a recycled nylon made from discarded materials like abandoned fishing nets. ECONYL’s manufacturer estimates that the material reduces the climate change-related impact of nylon by up to 80 percent compared to new construction made from oil.

Buy it from Backcountry.com for men and women for $200.

5. Mammut Convey Recycled Down Jacket

Down-filled jackets are a reliable way to stay toasty during the cold months, but you may worry about the impact your outdoor adventures have on the ducks and geese that serve as the source for your jacket’s filling. Many outdoor retailers are switching to recycled down, which repurposes down from used bedding, cushions, and other items that would otherwise end up in the landfill. Mammut’s Convey is one of the best puffy jackets for cold weather, according to Popular Mechanics, and its 700 fill down comes from recycled sources.

Buy it from Mammut for men and women for $200.

6. Decathlon Fleece

Decathlon, a French mega-retailer that’s essentially the IKEA of sporting goods, makes a number of jackets, shirts, and pants using recycled polyester and other eco-friendly materials. (It’s also dedicated to reducing any unnecessary packaging.) The company just launched its first U.S. store in the Bay Area, and is rolling out its online store nationwide. If you’re looking for gear made with recycled materials, head to the fleece department—it its lightweight Forclaz 50 fleece jackets are made with 100 percent recycled polyester. The company also manufactures plenty of warm-weather gear with recycled materials, too, like its TREK 500 t-shirts (available for men and women) and flip-flops, all made with a majority, if not 100 percent, recycled materials. Oh, and did we mention that everything is dirt cheap?

Buy Forclaz 50 fleece jackets from Decathlon for both men and women for $5.

7. Pacsafe ECONYL Backpack

Recycled fabric isn’t just for clothing. A number of retailers also use sustainable textiles to make accessories. Pacsafe, which makes secure bags designed to keep your stuff from getting snatched while you’re traveling, makes a line of anti-theft bags designed with ECONYL regenerated nylon. The carry-on backpack has all the same security features as the company’s other products—cut-resistant straps and fabric, locking clips and zippers, and more—but it’s made with recycled materials. And all the profits from the line go to the Turtle Fund, the company’s conservation effort aimed at helping endangered sea turtles.

Buy it from Pacsafe for $130.

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