The Best Eco-Friendly Lunch Bags


Are you brown bagging it yet? Last week we offered some tasty green ideas for food to tote to the office. But you’ll need an eco-friendly tote, so if you don’t have one, here’s where to get started making your choice.

The Best (Green) Brown Bags:

Bazura Shop sells insulated bags made by a women’s cooperative in the Philippines. The women salvage and sew together children’s juice boxes that would otherwise end up in landfill. The bags are colorful and it’s a great program to support. $20-35.

BuiltNY makes modern, bright, squishy neoprene bags. They’re self-insulating and look great, but offer limited space for lunches outside the usual sandwich or container of salad. $20-$23.

Laptop Lunches offers many bento options. These are among the most expensive. But they are compact and fun. They’re plastic, but at least they eliminate the need for disposable wrapping. $20.99 for the basic set with lots of add-on options (expect to finish out at $40 or so).

Reusable Bags offers a variety of options from different manufacturers; all products are fully eco. (So you won’t find the problematic soft vinyl lunch boxes that have been found to contain lead!) $6-30.

To Go Ware offers a cool stainless steel carrier like the ones used in India for generations. It has the advantage of not being plastic, but there is no cooling option and it’s not what you’d call bike-friendly. Still, it might work for you at $16.50.

Soft-sided Cool Totes are among the most affordable basic options. They’re compact, insulated, and lead-free. The striped look is the most attractive, in my opinion. $12.95-30.

Images: Bazura Shop, BuiltNY, Laptop Lunches, Reusable Bags, To Go Wear, Cool Totes

Vanessa Barrington

Vanessa Barrington is a San Francisco based writer and communications consultant specializing in environmental, social, and political issues in the food system.