What to Look For
As mentioned in our article, meal kits can be more environmentally friendly than the average supermarket shop. However, one of the biggest issues with meal kits is the sometimes-unnecessary packaging, which is why we suggest choosing ones with clear policies around packaging. Beyond this, a lot of the choice is down to personal preference of the menus and the costs incurred.
Below are some of the most environmentally conscious meal kits on offer. A lot of them have initial sign-up discounts or offers so you can try a few to find your favourite.
The brand: from proper farmers, Riverford are passionate about delicious veg grown organically whilst caring for the soil and wildlife on their land. Around 80% of their veg is UK-grown and their never air freight. Their ambition is to bring you the best of the season. Their fruit and veg packaging is now home compostable, if they use any that is not, they will collect your box from your doorstep to be reused up to ten times! Not to mention they are a certified B-Corp.
The product: Riverford offer a huge range of products from seasonal veg boxes to whole recipe boxes. We love their seasonal veg boxes which detail which country every vegetable is from with the option to choose UK-only organic veg. They have more forgiving specs for fruit and veg than supermarkets do, so you may find some wonky veg which wouldn’t have made it to the shelves but is no less delicious! Anything that simply can’t go to customers is donated to charity, used in staff canteens, given to staff or even to the Riverford Dairy herd!
The brand: Another certified B-Corp, they take responsibility for any potential impact on the environment. They are transparent about their suppliers, working with small family-run British farms who share their values. They have conscious packaging, using eco-friendly ice packs made from a non-toxic polymer gel which are 100% reusable. Their pots, craft bags and boxes are 100% recyclable and they ask you to collect 4 weeks-worth of ice packs and insulation to send back to them using a free returns label. Moreover, for every meal they sell, they donate a school meal to a child living in poverty. Not to mention, they are officially climate neutral!
The product: You can choose from recipes for 1 person, 2 people or a family (4 adults or 2 adults and 2-3 children). They promise to deliver healthy meals full of fresh, nutritious veg and no stodgy carbs such as white pasta, bread or white rice. You can filter recipes to pescatarian or vegan. They pride themselves on 100% free-range chicken and eggs, 100% British, grass-fed, heritage-reed beef and lamb and recipes between 450 to 650 calories a serving, all of which have been approved by nutritionists.
The brand: slightly different to your typical meal kit, Feastbox aim to bring cuisines from all around the world to your doorstep. They take care to make most of their packaging recyclable or reusable. Their insulation material is made from recycled denim offcuts, their ice packs are reusable and their pods, box & paper bags are recyclable. They have a partnership with Give Back Box which means you can fill the carboard boxes they send you with unwanted clothing, shoes, books or anything else you deem appropriate. Print off their free-post label and drop it at your nearest CollectPlus. As an incentive they’ll give you 10% off your next box! They take pride in their suppliers and their ingredients are farmed seasonally to avoid high quantities of harmful pesticides or fertilisers.
The product: we love the variety of food on offer at Feastbox. You can choose from vegan and vegetarian options. All their recipes describe where they come from as well as some history about the recipe. Even more, they suggest an accompanying wine for each meal which you can get delivered with your box!
The brand: with a blog dedicated to sustainability, the environment is definitely at the forefront of Gousto’s business. They have focused especially on their packaging, developing an Eco Chill box, made from recycled cardboard, to keep food fresh during delivery, helping them reach the goal they set themselves in 2019 to cut the plastics in their boxes by half. In 2020 they set their next goal to make all Gousto-branded packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by the end of 2022.
The product: Despite being one of the cheaper options, Gousto gives you a huge variety of meat, fish, vegetarian and vegan meals. They guarantee 100% British fresh meat in their recipes and their tuna is hand-caught by pole and line (not nets), whilst their cod and haddock are MSC certified. They like to use seasonal vegetables where possible however they do not guarantee organic.
We try our best to research and find the best environmentally-friendly companies to recommend here. However, if you have any suggestions that we might not know of, or disagree with any of our recommendations, please get in contact: firstname.lastname@example.org .We always want to learn more about the companies with the potential to save our future.