How to Plan Meals for Zero Waste Travel

My favorite part about traveling is the food. Before I go, I do extensive research and make a list of restaurants and markets that I want to scope out. When we’re home, Max and I cook the majority of our meals—so travel gives us the opportunity to indulge in new flavors and exciting restaurants.

And yet, one of the hardest parts about traveling is the food, specifically finding healthy and sustainable options when you’re on-the-go. It can be challenging to find places that cater to my vegetarian and gluten-free needs (go figure), and the plastic, oh the plastic! I recently spotted a bowl of apples at an airport deli cash register individually wrapped in cellophane. It was tempting to photoshame them with #zerowastefail, but we’re not really about that.  

When I’m preparing for a long day of airport travel, the best thing I can do is to plan ahead and bring my own snacks and meals. Nothing is worse than being tired, dehydrated and hungry and being surrounded by wasteful and unhealthy food options. I also bring some supplies in my suitcase so that when we arrive, we can bee-line for the local food co-op to stock up on healthy, sustainable food options while staying zero waste.

Here is a snapshot of the recent supplies I took on our 4-day trip to Winnipeg.

zero waste travel meals

  1. 1 small cloth bag for groceries and meals
  2. 1 stainless steel lunchbox for meals and snacks—we brought dried mango slices and trail mix.
  3. 1 beeswax wrap for my gluten free bagel with almond butter
  4. 2 cloth napkins
  5. 2 sets of bamboo utensils
  6. 2 stainless steel straws
  7. 2 water bottles—one insulated and one regular
  8. 4 reusable produce bags for grocery shopping
  9. 1 stainless steel tea ball for loose leaf tea
  10. 1 small glass jar of loose leaf tea