Best Eco-Friendly Meal Delivery Services

Green Chef is our top pick for eco-friendly meal delivery

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Lunchbox with sustainable meal of quinoa salad with tomato and cucumber

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When planning meals, “buy fresh, buy local” is the phrase that is top of mind for environmentally conscious consumers. However, you may live in an area that doesn’t have a farmers market; perhaps grocery stores are difficult to get to, or you may have health issues that prevent you from shopping in person. In this case, a meal delivery service may be a good alternative, as they cater to a variety of dietary needs, taking much of the guesswork out of meal planning. 

Unfortunately, meal delivery services can also lead to issues like food waste, carbon impact from shipping, and packaging that may not easily be recyclable. That’s why we compiled a list of the most eco-friendly meal delivery services on the market for a variety of needs. If you’re looking for convenience but still wish to minimize your impact on the environment, one of these services may be a good choice for you.

Best Eco-Friendly Meal Delivery Services of 2023

Best Overall: Green Chef

Green-Chef-Logo

Green Chef

Key Specs

  • Starting Price: $11.99 per serving
  • Delivery Area: 48 states
  • Products Arrive: Fresh

Why You Should Try It 

Green Chef is one of the few meal delivery companies we reviewed that has USDA-certified organic status, along with a rotating menu of fresh, globally-inspired recipes to stave off dinnertime boredom.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Certified organic ingredients 
  • Meals in portions of up to six servings 
  • Transparent nutritional labeling 

Cons

  • No free shipping
  • Meal kits require some prep work

Overview

Green Chef won our best overall pick both for its sustainability efforts and flavorful, inventive recipes. The company uses recyclable and compostable packaging whenever possible; your meal kits arrive in corrugated cardboard boxes produced with a minimum of 40 percent recycled content, and with a plant-based product that can be recycled curbside. While testers noted that much of their food came in small #4 plastic bags, they also noted that these could at least be recycled with a little additional effort.

Meals accommodate a variety of dietary preferences, including vegan, vegetarian, keto, and gluten free, and can be ordered in serving sizes that range from two to six, making it easier to find portion sizes that suit your lifestyle. The company uses USDA-certified organic ingredients, and most meals come together in less than 30 minutes.

Pricing and Plans 

  • 3 meals with 2 servings each: $13.49 per serving
  • 4 meals with 2 servings each: $12.99 per serving
  • 3 meals with 4 servings each: $12.49 per serving
  • 4 meals with 4 servings each: $11.99 per serving
  • 3 meals with 6 servings each: $11.99 per serving
  • 4 meals with 6 servings each: $11.99 per serving
  • Shipping is $9.99

Best Value: Dinnerly

Dinnerly

Dinnerly

Key Specs

  • Starting Price: $4.99 per serving
  • Delivery Area: 48 states
  • Products Arrive: Fresh

Why You Should Try It

Dinnerly offers no-fuss meal kits at a price that’s easy on the wallet.

Pros and Cons 

Pros

  • Easy to sort ingredients for allergens 
  • Website features detailed information on how to recycle packaging
  • Can choose both recipes and specify a delivery day

Cons

  • Users report issues with chatbot

Overview 

Dinnerly keeps its costs low by using a streamlined approach to its food and packaging; by keeping both simple, it is able to keep its prices among the lowest we’ve found in the meal delivery space. The website features easy-to-follow instructions on the packaging used and detailed instructions on how it can be recycled. Testers found the food to be simple but not lacking in flavor; the options available have just enough of a twist to keep these basics comforting without being bland.

Pricing and Plans

  • 3 meals with 2 servings each: $7.04 per serving
  • 4 meals with 2 servings each: $6.54 per serving
  • 5 meals with 2 servings each: $6.44 per serving
  • 6 meals with 2 servings each: $6.24 per serving
  • 3 meals with 4 servings each: $6.14 per serving
  • 4 meals with 4 servings each: $5.89 per serving
  • 5 meals with 4 servings each: $5.59 per serving
  • 6 meals with 4 servings each: $4.99 per serving
  • Shipping is $11.99

Best for Home Chefs: Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon

Martha Stewart and Marley Spoon

Martha Stewart and Marley Spoon

Key Specs

  • Starting Price: $8.69 per serving
  • Delivery Area: 43 states
  • Products Arrive: Fresh

Why You Should Try It 

Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon delivers meal kits ideal for the enthusiastic home cook who also likes the reassurance of ordering from a carbon-neutral company.

Pros and Cons 

Pros

  • Great selection of meals
  • Carbon neutral
  • Provides a regularly updated sustainability report on website 

Cons

  • Requires quite a bit of hands-on cooking time
  • Limited delivery area

Overview 

It stands to reason that the legendarily thorough Martha Stewart wouldn’t overlook sustainability; Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon puts its environmental efforts front and center on its website, featuring detailed instructions about its packaging and how best to recycle it. The company also puts out a sustainability report that is updated yearly and has an entire section of its site dedicated to its efforts to maintain carbon neutrality. 

This service is definitely geared toward those who enjoy spending some time in the kitchen as opposed to those who find it a chore, but the resulting meals are fresh and full of flavor. Customers can choose two to four servings of each meal, and receive up to six meals per week, with the option to skip a week or more as needed.

Pricing and Plans 

  • 2 meals with 2 servings each: $12.99 per serving
  • 3 meals with 2 servings each: $10.99 per serving
  • 4 meals with 2 servings each: $10.49 per serving
  • 5 meals with 2 servings each: $9.99 per serving
  • 6 meals with 2 servings each: $9.49 per serving
  • 2 meals with 4 servings each: $10.49 per serving
  • 3 meals with 4 servings each: $9.49 per serving
  • 4 meals with 4 servings each: $8.99 per serving
  • 5 meals with 4 servings each: $8.99 per serving
  • 6 meals with 4 servings each: $8.69 per serving

Best for Kids: Nurture Life

Nurture Life
Nurture Life

Key Specs

  • Starting Price: $6.99 per serving
  • Delivery Area: 48 states
  • Products Arrive: Fresh

Why You Should Try It 

Busy parents may enjoy having quick, kid-focused meals on hand, and Nurture Life offers a good variety of foods along with clear ingredient sourcing and recycling information.

Pros and Cons 

Pros

  • Packaging is BPA- and phthalate-free 
  • Good variety of snack add-ons
  • Meals arrive prepared and ready to heat 

Cons

  • Expensive 
  • Food is individually packaged, resulting in more waste

Overview 

Nurture Life offers a variety of kid-friendly meals, finger foods, smoothies, and snacks with the aim of getting a good balance of protein and vegetables into even the pickiest eater. While the meals (like most if not all ready-to-heat options) come individually packaged, the website breaks down the best recycling practices for its materials. As Nurture Life is geared specifically toward kids, you won’t find a lot of spices and inventive cuisine, but testers were pleased with how thorough and thoughtful the company is in its dedication to providing nutrient-dense meals for children of all ages.

Pricing & Plans 

  • 6 items per week: $7.49 per serving
  • 9 items per week: $6.93 per serving 
  • 12 items per week: $6.66 per serving 
  • 15 items per week: $6.49 per serving 
  • Shipping is $8.99

Best Vegan: Daily Harvest

Daily Harvest
Daily Harvest

Key Specs

  • Starting Price: $6.79 per serving
  • Delivery Area: 48 states
  • Products Arrive: Frozen

Why You Should Try It 

Daily Harvest delivers plant-based, grab-and-go meals made with predominantly organic ingredients that are ideal for busy vegans.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • All meals plant-based
  • No refined sugars or GMOs
  • Arrives frozen for easy storage

Cons

  • Meals may lack satiety factor
  • Costs can add up quickly

Overview 

Daily Harvest was created with the intent of making plant-based meals easily accessible to those who want nutrient-dense foods but may lack the time it takes to prepare them. Customers will not suffer from a lack of variety; the company offers hundreds of choices that range from snacks and smoothies to flatbreads and grain bowls. The company’s ultimate goal is to package and ship its products in 100 percent sustainable materials; in the meantime, the website carefully breaks down its packaging by product, clearly noting what items are recyclable (bowls, aluminum trays) and which are not (plastic seals). In addition, Daily Harvest works with the farmers who supply its ingredients to help transition their operations to practices that support organic and regenerative agriculture methods.

Pricing and Plans 

Per-Item Pricing

  • Lattes: $5.99
  • Forager Bowls: $6.79
  • Mylk & Bites: $7.99
  • Smoothies & Soups: $8.49
  • Scoops: $8.99
  • Harvest Bowls & Flatbreads: $9.79
  • Harvest Bake: $11.99

 Volume Discounts

  • 9 items: $5 discount
  • 14 items: $10 discount
  • 24 items: $25 discount

Best Variety: Sunbasket

Sunbasket
Sunbasket

Key Specs

  • Starting Price: $9.99 per serving
  • Delivery Area: 46 states
  • Products Arrive: Fresh

Why You Should Try It 

With everything from full meals to snacks and sides, Sunbasket has enough variety to satisfy just about any consumer.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Minimum of 99 percent organic ingredients
  • Accommodates a variety of dietary needs
  • Lots of add-ons

Cons

  • No free shipping after first order

Overview 

Sunbasket rated highly with our testers for its commitment to sustainability throughout its supply chain, emphasizing sustainably sourced meats and produce. The company has stated a goal of using 100 percent recyclable packaging; in the meantime, testers praised its clear instructions on proper disposal, noting that, even if items had to be taken to special recycling centers, nothing had to end up in the landfill. Add to that Sunbasket’s ability to accommodate a variety of dietary needs (gluten-free, paleo, vegan, diabetic-friendly) and protein customization options, and you have a surprisingly sustainable option to your usual trip to the grocery store.

Pricing and Plans 

  • Meal Kits: start at $11.49 per serving (price varies depending on selection)
  • Fresh & Ready Meals: start at $9.99 per serving (price varies depending on selection)

Best Prepared Meals: Territory Foods

Territory Foods logo

Territory Foods 

Key Specs

  • Starting Price: $12.95
  • Delivery Area: 27 states
  • Products Arrive: Fresh

Why You Should Try It 

Territory Foods uses a network of independent chefs to ensure the ingredients in its prepared meals are fresh and locally sourced.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Meals arrive fresh and ready to heat 
  • Constantly rotating menu
  • Accommodates a variety of diets

Cons

  • Limited delivery area
  • Meals are single-serve only

Overview 

Territory believes that good nutrition starts by staying local, collaborating with independent chefs and registered dietitians to create meals that are healthy and arrive ready to heat. The rotating menu accommodates dietary preferences like Whole30, keto, and vegan, and all meals are free of gluten, dairy, and refined sugars. Territory’s website details how to recycle or compost its packaging and ensures this information is on the packaging for added convenience. An added bonus of keeping things local: Your meals don’t have to travel across the country, helping to reduce the overall carbon footprint of using a meal delivery service.

Pricing and Plans 

  • Due to the availability of local ingredients, pricing will vary, but meals start at $11.95 per serving
  • Final Verdict

    With its impressive selection of tasty recipes and certified organic ingredients, Green Chef wins our pick for the best eco-friendly meal delivery service. The service’s fresh meal kits span a variety of dietary plans and preferences, and the company is both plastic and carbon offset. In addition, the preportioned meals can help reduce food waste by up to 25 percent compared to grocery shopping, meaning customers don’t necessarily have to sacrifice eco-conscious practices for convenience.  

    Compare the Best Eco-Friendly Meal Delivery Services

    Company  Starting Price Delivery Area Products Arrive Customers Can Choose Delivery Date? Free Shipping?
    Best Overall: Green Chef $11.99 per serving  48 states  Fresh  Yes No
    Best Value: Dinnerly $4.99 per serving  48 states  Fresh  Yes No
    Best for Home Chefs: Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon $8.69 per serving  43 states  Fresh  Yes No
    Best for Kids: Nurture Life $6.49 per serving  48 states  Fresh  Yes Yes, with orders of 9+ items
    Best Vegan: Daily Harvest $6.79 per serving  48 states  Frozen  Yes Yes
    Best Variety: Sunbasket $9.99 per serving  46 states  Fresh  Yes No
    Best Prepared Meals: Territory $12.95 per serving  27 states  Fresh  Yes No

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Frequently Asked Questions
    • Are Meal Delivery Services Actually Sustainable?

      In short, it depends on the company. Factors like sourcing, ingredients, packaging, and transport all play a role in how much impact a meal delivery service will have on the environment. While shopping locally is typically a more environmentally friendly choice, this may not always be possible for some customers. Meal delivery services can source produce and meats that may be more in line with a customer’s values than what is available to them locally. As always, it’s best to do your research in order to make a decision that aligns with your goals.



    • Are Eco-Friendly Meal Delivery Services Expensive?

      Prices can vary considerably depending on the meal delivery service. Meals that include more labor-intensive ingredients like humanely raised meats or organic produce tend to cost more. However, there are affordable options (like Dinnerly) that provide filling meals at an affordable price per serving.

    • Do Eco-Friendly Meal Delivery Services Use Organic Ingredients?

      Not all services use organic ingredients and, if the company does, this may not encompass all of its products. In creating our list, we took care to note which companies use organic ingredients in their meals. Green Chef was a top pick in part due to its USDA-certified organic status, but there are others that offer varying degrees of organic products.

    • Do Meal Delivery Services Reduce Food Waste?

      Meal delivery services can help reduce food waste by providing customers with the exact amount of a specific ingredient needed to create a meal (no more unused chives left to rot in the fridge!). Most services have a variety of portion sizes available, so it can be easier for customers to choose meal quantities that fit their needs. Singles may find it useful to have preportioned meals on hand if they’re crunched for time, whereas families or those who like the convenience of leftovers may find larger portions ideal.

    Methodology

    Our testers ordered from, cooked, and rated 40 different meal delivery services. We carefully scored each one based on meal selection, nutritional information, and sustainability, as well as the flavor, freshness, and quality of each meal and ingredient. Our tester panel includes a mix of dietitians, chefs, and longtime food writers.