Best Eco-Friendly Meal Kits For 2024

Note: We write our honest review on each product, however, we might receive a sales commission to support this website. See our full disclosure here.

Meal kits are becoming increasingly common. There’s no doubt that using a meal kit delivery service can make your life much more comfortable, freeing up your grocery store shopping time and helping you easily choose your meals for the week. You’ve probably heard of at least a few of them, like Hello Fresh, Home Chef, or Blue Apron, just to name a few.

While the concept of meal kits is appealing, many people are turned off by the environmental impact. The meal kits are shipped nationwide with boxes filled with insulation and ice packs. Plus, many items inside the box are packed with plastic packaging.

However, not all meal delivery services are the same. Some are going the extra mile regarding sustainability, recyclability, and organic eating – and we see this trend getting bigger in 2024. We believe it is an important criterion when choosing a meal plan.

As part of creating this review, we’ve checked each service’s packaging materials, ingredient sourcing, and much more to bring you the top eco-friendly meal delivery services on the market. 

Green Chef gets our vote as the #1 eco-friendly meal kit service for its commitment to using sustainable and organic ingredients in its meals. Also, its distribution centers are powered by 100% renewable electricity and offset 100% of its delivery emissions and the plastic used in each box. 

But, since we also understand that Green Chef comes with a price tag that may not fit everyone’s budget, we’ve created a list of other excellent meal delivery services for you to consider. At the beginning of 2024, when updating our review, we added two more brands that we feel meet the criteria of offering great foods and being eco-friendly: Factor and Hungryroot. 

Let’s help you decide which company might best fit your needs!

Short on Time? Here Are The Top 4 Sustainable & Eco-Friendly Meal Delivery Services

  • Best overall sustainable meal delivery service: Green Chef
  • Best eco-friendly meal kits for families: Hello Fresh
  • Best affordable meal kits with less packaging: Dinnerly
  • Best eco-friendly ready-made meals: Factor

1. Green Chef: Our #1 Overall Pick For USDA Approved Eco-Friendly Meal Delivery

green chef logo
Full Pricing:
$10.99
Shipping:
$11.99 First shipping is FREE
Updated In:
May 15, 2024

For Green Chef, ’Green‘ is not just part of the name. It sums up their philosophy and agenda as a company. Green Chef’s management strongly believes in sustainability and green innovation and aims to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

Green Chef’s packaging is recyclable, reusable, and compostable wherever possible. They also offset 100% of their operational carbon emissions, including the shipment of every box you receive.

We firmly believe that choosing Green Chef means choosing a truly eco-friendly option.

Green Chef is also a USDA-approved company that uses only organic ingredients and sustainable seafood and meats. The company offers a dedicated plant-based meal plan, with many vegan and vegetarian options, for even more eco-friendly eating.

For us, Green Chef proves you can be eco-friendly and still enjoy the culinary quality of life. Its extensive menu with 45+ weekly recipes offers a variety of world cuisines. And since every meal is tagged, it’s easy to navigate and choose the meals that fit your dietary needs.

Highly Recommended Meals From Green Chef:

  • Southwest Fajita Cheeseburger with Roasted Sweet Potatoes
  • Caribbean Shrimp and Rice with Mangos & Green Pepper, and Chard Salad
  • Turkey Coconut Curry Soup with Rice and Peppers
  • Italian Roasted Carrots with Barley and Ricotta Cheese
green chef logo
Get $250 OFF your first 5 boxes!

2. Hello Fresh: Eco-Friendly Meal Kit Packaging

HelloFresh
Full Pricing:
$10.99
Shipping:
$9.99 First shipping is FREE
Updated In:
May 15, 2024

It’s nice to know that Hello Fresh, the largest meal kit delivery service in the US for 2024, takes recycling extremely seriously. The company recently announced its teaming up with Cascades Inc. to provide even more sustainable packaging, using the Northbox™ insulated containers for delivery.

HelloFresh is the first meal kit delivery service in the U.S. to use this box model, which, with optimal insulation, helps keep the food at peak freshness with the ideal storing temperatures.

All the rest of Hello Fresh’s packaging is also recyclable. Its website gives you a full guide on recycling Hello Fresh packaging materials.

Highly Recommended Meals From Hello Fresh:

  • Teriyaki Pork Luau Bowls with Kiwi Salsa & Lime Crema
  • Yogurt-Marinated Chicken & Garlic Sauce
  • Peppercorn-crusted beef Tenderloin with Brussels Amandine & Mashed Sweet Potatoes
HelloFresh
10 Free Meals + Free Dessert for Life + First Box Ships Free

3. Dinnerly: Meal Kit with Eco-Friendy Packaging

dinnerly_logo
Full Pricing:
$11.99
Shipping:
$4.99-8.49 per serving
Updated In:
May 15, 2024

Dinnerly is the country’s cheapest meal kit delivery service, with meals at less than $5 per serving. That’s even cheaper than doing the grocery shopping yourself!

You might think Dinnerly keeps prices low by sending you low-quality ingredients, but, in reality, Dinnerly ensures it provides the highest-quality ingredients at a fraction of the cost by simplifying its approach.

Part of this approach means using digital recipe cards instead of wasting paper, fewer ingredients per dish (which also means less chopping and less food waste), and much simpler packaging that is much more eco-friendly. The ingredients aren’t separately packaged for each meal kit, meaning there is much less plastic bag use.

Highly Recommended Meals From Dinnerly:

  • Chinese Pepper Steak with Steamed Jasmine Rice
  • Shrimp Alfredo Pasta with Peas & Parmesan
  • Vegetarian Black Bean Huevos Rancheros with Salsa & Feta
  • Middle Eastern Beef Ragu & Buttery Orzo

 

Dinnerly Meal Kit Review

dinnerly_logo
2024 OFFER! Dinnerly Coupon: Up to 43% Off First Box With Free Shipping

4. Factor: Best Eco-Friendly Meal Service For Pre-Made Meals

factor75-new-logo
Full Pricing:
$9.99
Shipping:
$10.99
Updated In:
May 15, 2024

Factor provides a convenient solution for enjoying nutritious meals without the hassle of cooking or prep work. With a diverse menu featuring over 35 weekly meals, Factor offers a variety of options spanning American and international cuisines, including Asian, Mexican, and Mediterranean dishes.

One of Factor’s standout features is its commitment to using high-quality ingredients from trusted producers. From fresh produce to sustainably sourced seafood and strict chicken welfare policies, Factor ensures that each meal is made with wholesome ingredients that meet diverse dietary needs, including keto, low-calorie, high-protein, vegetarian, low-carb, and vegan diets.

Factor also prioritizes animal welfare and sustainability by sourcing ingredients from farms that adhere to strict welfare practices. These farms refrain from using antibiotics or added hormones in their livestock, ensuring that Factor’s meals are nutrient-rich and free from harmful toxins or preservatives.

Factor is dedicated to reducing packaging waste, which is critical for being eco-friendly. The company uses BPA-free recyclable plastic containers and reusable gel packs to maintain freshness during shipping. Furthermore, other plastic containers, such as smoothie bottles, are designed to be recyclable or reusable.

Factor offers options for ordering 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, or 18 meals weekly. The cost varies depending on the amount of meals you choose per week as part of your subscription.

Highly Recommended Meals From Factor:

  • Artichoke & Spinach Chicken with Roasted Zucchini & Tomato Butter
  • Red Chile Chicken Tamale Bowl with Spiced Sweet Potatoes & Crema
  • Vegan Three Bean Bhili with Cornbread Casserole 
  • Vegan Smoked Tofu Almond Stir-Fry with Edamame & Soy Vinaigrette

 

factor75-new-logo
SPECIAL OFFER! Get up to $130 OFF Factor Meals!

5. Hungryroot: Sustainable and Healthy Meal Delivery Service

Hungryroot
Full Pricing:
FREE for order above 70$
Shipping:
Starts as low as $8.49 per serving
Updated In:
January 1, 2023

After trying out Hungryroot’s meal delivery service, we must say it’s excellent for those seeking convenient yet nutritious dining options. Hungryroot brings wholesome meals straight to your doorstep. It’s not only its convenience that impressed us but also its strong commitment to sustainability. This eco-conscious approach sets Hungryroot apart in the realm of meal delivery.

Hungryroot’s emphasis on eco-friendly practices is commendable. They prioritize using recyclable and compostable packaging materials, minimizing their environmental footprint while delivering delicious meals to your doorstep. You can learn more about it from the Hungryroot website.

What stands out most is Hungryroot’s dedication to customizable meal options catering to diverse dietary needs. Whether vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or suffering from gut sensitivity, the service offers a wide selection of dishes crafted with fresh, high-quality, sustainable ingredients sourced from trusted suppliers.

In addition, Hungryroot offers a variety of snacks, sides, and desserts to complement your meals. This flexibility allows you to create a personalized meal plan that aligns with your taste preferences and values.

While prices may vary depending on your selections and portion sizes, Hungryroot’s commitment to sustainability and flavor makes it a good option for those seeking convenient, eco-friendly meal solutions.

Highly Recommended Meals From Hungryroot:

  • Quinoa Bite and Dill Hummus Rice Bowl
  • Gingery Grilled Chicken and Brussels Rice Bowl
  • Zingy Salmon with Crispy Potato Salad
  • Blackened Pork Chop with Potato and Spinach

 

Quinoa risotto bowl by Hungryroot

Hungryroot
30% off + free gift in every delivery

6. Sun Basket: Recyclable & Organic Meal Kits

Full Pricing:
$9.99
Shipping:
$9.99, First Shipping FREE
Updated In:
May 15, 2024

Sun Basket delivers all-organic and sustainable meal kits. The service is offered as a subscription or one-time order with a bit of a higher price tag.

Sun Basket ensures it uses 100% recyclable and compostable packaging, including the box, the insulating materials, the ice packs, and the plastic and paper used to wrap the ingredients. You can see the full Sun Basket recycling instructions on their website.

Sun Basket also prioritizes suppliers who use environmentally friendly methods for growing food. This includes fishermen who use low-impact fishing methods, ranches that treat animals respectfully, and farmers pioneering sustainable crop rotation and water efficiency.

The Sun Basket meal kits and prepared meals are pre-portioned, almost always resulting in less food waste – another aspect to consider.

Lastly, the company also gives back to the community through Feeding America, local food banks, and more. You can see the full details of Sun Basket recycling instructions on their site.

Sun Basket offers a vast menu with over 30 delicious and exciting weekly meal options, ranging from Paleo, Lean & Clean, gluten-free, Mediterranean meals, and more.

Highly Recommended Meals From Sun Basket:

  • Chicken Cacciatore with Cauliflower Mash
  • Fresh Fettuccine Bolognese and Garlicky Baby Broccoli
  • Pork Chops with Fig-Rosemary Sauce and Quinoa-Endive Salad
  • Walnut-Mushroom Flatbreads with Apricots and Lemon-Tahini Dressing
Grab your meal kits coupons!

Tips for Selecting the Best Eco-Friendly Meal Delivery Services

If you’re considering an eco-conscious meal delivery service, here are some expert tips to guide your decision-making:

Assess Sustainability Practices

Prioritize companies that prioritize sustainability. Look for those actively reducing food waste, partnering with local farms for sourcing ingredients, and using compostable or biodegradable packaging materials. Companies like Green Chef are known for their commitment to sustainable practices.

Learn From Others – Review Customer Feedback

Dive into customer reviews to gauge overall satisfaction and food quality. Platforms like social media and review websites offer valuable insights from genuine customers. For example, HelloFresh consistently receives praise for its reliability and meal variety.

Evaluate Menu Diversity

Ensure the menu offerings align with your dietary preferences and restrictions. Opt for services like Green Chef that specialize in organic and locally sourced ingredients, with lots of vegan and vegetarian options (diets that are known for being environmentally friendly).

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Related FAQ’s

Meal kits have the potential to be sustainable depending on various factors such as sourcing practices, packaging materials, and transportation methods. Some meal kit companies – like Green Chef – prioritize sustainability by sourcing ingredients locally, using eco-friendly packaging, and optimizing delivery routes to reduce carbon emissions. Consumers can assess a meal kit’s sustainability by researching its sourcing policies, packaging materials, and transportation practices before deciding. You can read more about it here.

The most environmentally friendly diet prioritizes plant-based foods, especially if you focus on sourcing sustainable ingredients. Plant-based diets generally have a lower environmental impact than diets high in animal products due to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, land use, and water consumption associated with plant-based foods. 

Additionally, choosing locally grown, seasonal produce and reducing consumption of highly processed foods can further enhance the environmental friendliness of a diet. Ultimately, adopting a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts while minimizing the consumption of animal products and processed foods is beneficial for both personal health and the planet.

To make using food delivery, especially meal kit delivery services, more environmentally friendly, consider the following tips:

  1. Choose Eco-Friendly Meal Kit Companies: Opt for meal kit companies that prioritize sustainability by sourcing local, organic ingredients, using minimal packaging, and offsetting carbon emissions from transportation.
  2. Recycle and Compost Packaging: Responsibly dispose of meal kit packaging by recycling cardboard, paper, and plastics and composting organic materials.
  3. Support Sustainable Transportation: Opt for meal kit companies that use electric or hybrid vehicles for delivery or choose delivery options that prioritize eco-friendly transportation methods such as biking or walking.
  4. Reduce Food Waste: Follow portion sizes provided in meal kits to minimize food waste. Use any leftovers for lunch or dinner the day after to avoid throwing away edible food.

When it comes to environmentally unfriendly foods, a few notorious culprits have a big impact on our planet. Here are just seven of them:

  1. Beef: The beef industry is known for its hefty environmental footprint, gobbling up land, water, and feed. Those methane-emitting cows aren’t helping with the whole greenhouse gas situation.
  2. Sugar: The sugar industry is notorious for its extensive use of water, pesticides, and land, often leading to deforestation, habitat destruction, and soil degradation in regions where it’s cultivated.
  3. Lamb: Like beef, lamb production is a resource-intensive process that involves lots of land and emits plenty of methane. It’s like beef’s smaller but equally problematic cousin.
  4. Cheese: Who knew something so delicious could be so bad for the planet? Dairy cows, milk processing, and cheese production contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and land degradation.
  5. Palm Oil: This sneaky ingredient hides in all sorts of products, from snacks to cosmetics. But its production often involves clearing vast swathes of tropical forests, wreaking havoc on biodiversity and contributing to climate change.
  6. Farmed Shrimp: Those little shrimp cocktails might seem harmless, but intensive shrimp farming can have devastating effects on coastal ecosystems, including mangrove forests. Plus, all those antibiotics and chemicals they use? Not great for the waterways.
  7. Chocolate: Ah, chocolate – the beloved treat that often has a less-than-sweet environmental impact. Not only does cocoa production contribute to deforestation and habitat loss, but the processing of cocoa beans into chocolate also requires significant energy and resources. From roasting and grinding to conching and tempering, the journey from bean to bar is a highly industrialized process that can generate large amounts of waste and emissions.

With the growing trend of eating environmentally friendly foods, here are the top 5 most eco-conscious choices that you can feel good about enjoying:

  1. Legumes: Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are nutritious and eco-friendly. They require minimal water and have fewer greenhouse gas emissions than animal-based proteins.
  2. Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are your green heroes. They’re light on resources like water and land, making them a sustainable choice.
  3. Whole Grains: Quinoa, brown rice, and oats are the wholesome grains that keep on giving. They have a smaller environmental footprint compared to processed grains like white rice.
  4. Seasonal and Locally Sourced Produce: Fruits and veggies that are in season and locally sourced are like a breath of fresh air. By choosing these, you’re cutting down on transportation emissions and supporting local farmers.
  5. Organic Foods: Going organic means supporting farming practices that are kinder to the planet. Plus, you’ll avoid synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, keeping ecosystems happy and healthy.

According to data from Statista, approximately 13 percent of high-income earners in the United States expressed intentions to boost their spending on meal kit delivery services. This number has steadily increased over the years as meal kits gain popularity for their convenience, variety, and often healthier options compared to traditional grocery shopping and meal preparation. 

However, it’s worth noting that while meal kit services are often perceived as expensive (despite many offering affordable options), people earning less than $100,000 annually are significantly less inclined to do so. This suggests that meal kit delivery services still have strides to make in achieving widespread popularity among the general US population.

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