4 Eco-Friendly Meal Subscription Boxes


Article by Hayley Hyer

Photography by Nicolette Martin

Spend more time at home and get eco-friendly meal kits delivered to your home for easy cooking and healthy living.

1. Choose Your Plan

When you sign up for a meal subscription box, you get to decide if you want all of your food for the week delivered or just a couple of meals. Maybe you want to ditch going to the grocery store altogether and use your box as your main source, or maybe you are just running out of dinner ideas and want to try some new recipes. Either way, you can pick the plan that is most compatible with what you are looking for, and with many companies, you can also decide whether your boxes ship weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.

2. Delivery

Most food subscription boxes will allow you to choose a delivery day and time frame that works best for you. Since Imperfect Foods’ items come from local grocery stores and farms in your regional area, the day of the week your box is delivered depends on your specific zip code. But you still get to choose a window of time for it to arrive.

Your grocery items will be packaged as intuitively as possible, with any freezer items in specially insulated sacks and refrigerator items tucked in with ice packs. Bonus: You can reuse the insulation and ice packs in kids’ lunch boxes, on road trips or in your own lunches at work.

With sustainability being a primary focus for these companies, most of the items are recyclable. Imperfect Foods has an option for you to leave unwanted boxes and ice packs on your porch for your delivery person to pick up when they drop off your next box, and Sun Basket provides detailed instructions on how you can recycle each item yourself.

Tip: Try to avoid leaving your boxes overnight. You can always log in to your account and choose to skip a delivery if you realize you won’t be home.

3. Ingredients + Prep

Depending on what you order, you may need some of your own supplies. When you select your meals, think about what you will need to cook the food in and if any other kitchen utensils would be helpful. Have them ready to go so you don’t have to make any last-minute trips to the store, defeating the purpose of getting your box delivered.

Look over the prep times and cook times to ensure you won’t be rushed, and have fun. If the meals are foods you would enjoy reheated, you could do all of your cooking the day you get the box to meal prep for your week, or you can just store the ingredients to the other meals in your fridge and cook them throughout the week.

Tip: If you have a babysitter who likes to cook, you could set out the instructions and ingredients for them to have something fun to do with your kids—it beats ordering pizza again!

4. Cooking

If you’re a little less-experienced in the kitchen, meal kits are great for learning. Read the instructions carefully before you get started so you don’t feel frazzled while the heat is up high, and take your time. Gobble is great for beginners because all of the meals are prepped for you and can be cooked in 15 minutes with just one skillet. If you want to learn how to do more plant-based cooking for your health and the environment, Purple Carrot makes it easy to enjoy delicious meals and not even miss the meat.

If you are a more seasoned chef, feel free to take your own spin on the recipes and add some extra flavor or swap out ingredients to make it perfect for your palate. If you know what you want to make and have your own recipes already, Imperfect Foods is a nice choice because you select all of the individual ingredients yourself. You can help eliminate food waste, use organic, high-quality ingredients and save money all at the same time—without leaving your house.

Tip: Place used dishes and pans in the sink with soapy water as you cook so they can start soaking for easy clean-up when you are done.

5. Let's Eat!

This is the really fun part—it’s time to start taste-testing. Make a note tab in your phone for tracking what you love and what isn’t your favorite. That way, when it’s time to select more meals, you know what you have tried and what you absolutely have to try again. Don’t forget to ask your family what was a hit and a miss. Who knows—maybe the kids love some of the Purple Carrot recipes and don’t even notice how many veggies they are eating!

Choosing a Brand

Imperfect Foods: Most Customizable

You choose how much to spend based on what you add to your cart.

Shipping is $5 or free if you spend $60 on your box.

Purple Carrot: All Plant-Based

Box price is based on how many meals and how many servings you order.

Meals cost $10-$12 per serving. Shipping is free.

Sun Basket: Farm Fresh + Organic

Box price is based on how many meals and how many servings you order.

Meals cost $11-$13 per serving. Shipping is $6.

Gobble: Fast + Easy Cooking

Box price is based on how many meals and how many servings you order.

Meals cost $12 per serving. Shipping is $7.

Tip: Try out a few different boxes. You can pause your subscription for the first one while you try a second one. Just remember to cancel the accounts you don’t want anymore.

Follow Hayley Hyer @hayhyer

Follow Nicolette Martin @undrarkc

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