Blue Apron’s Animal Welfare Policy


Inflation, avian flu, high prices at the grocery store – 2023 has not been an easy start for the food industry, food lovers or home cooks. At Blue Apron, we proudly navigate these challenges, without compromising on the quality of the ingredients in our box or our standards.

Throughout the past decade, we built a network of suppliers where we source approximately 80% of what goes into our meal kits directly from producers and farms. These relationships allow us to select ingredients that meet our standards, while maintaining a good value in the box along with the right variety of recipes to meet our customers’ needs. 

As we continue to select quality ingredients, we regularly review and assess our animal welfare and sourcing policies to make sure they are in line with industry standards. We made some updates and wanted to share what the next steps look like at Blue Apron. 

Animal Welfare – Core Principles 

Blue Apron continues to be committed to the humane treatment of animals raised for consumption and providing our customers with quality ingredients that they can feel good about.

In 2018, we adopted the Five Freedoms, a set of principles adopted by the World Organization for Animal Health and in 2023, we are moving towards adopting the Five Domains, created by Professor Emeritus D.J. Mellor (read more about this framework here). Both methodologies seek to ensure the physical and mental well-being of animals under human control, but some consider the Five Freedoms to focus on the absence (or freedom) from a negative state, whereas the Five Domains considers nutrition, environment, health, and behavior as governing inputs that result in a range of mental states from negative to positive: 


Five Freedoms 

Five Domains 

Freedom from hunger and thirst 

Nutrition — factors that involve the animal’s access to sufficient, balanced, varied, and clean food and water. 

Freedom from discomfort 

Environment — factors that enable comfort through temperature, substrate, space, air, odor, noise, and predictability. 

Freedom from pain, injury or disease 

Health — factors that enable good health through the absence of disease, injury, impairment with a good fitness level. 

Freedom to express normal behavior 

Behavior — factors that provide varied, novel, and engaging environmental challenges through sensory inputs, exploration, foraging, bonding, playing, retreating, and others. 

Freedom from fear or distress 

Mental state — the mental state of the animal should benefit from predominantly positive states, such as pleasure, comfort, or vitality while reducing negative states such as fear, frustration, hunger, pain, or boredom.

Where We Stand Today and Looking Forward

Growth Promoters and Antibiotics 

All of our beef, poultry, and pork comes from animals not treated with added hormones or sub-therapeutic antibiotics, and we prioritize the purchase of Certified Humane Raised and Handled® pasture raised eggs. All animals raised for meat are fed vegetarian diets free from animal byproducts, except our chickens and the laying hens producing our shell eggs — some of the broiler chickens are receiving a fortified feed and our shell eggs come from pasture-raised hens who eat plenty of bugs and grubs. 

Cattle (Beef)

All of our beef comes from cattle that spend at minimum 80% of their life span on pasture and over 10% is Global Animal Partnership (GAP) 4 certified*. By 2025, our goal is to have 100% of our beef come from Certified Humane Raised and Handled® or GAP 4 certified cattle.

Pigs (Pork)

All of our pork comes from pigs raised in group housing systems or in systems that do not use gestation crates. By 2025, our goal is to have 100% Certified Humane Raised and Handled® or GAP 4 certified pork.


All of our dairy and cheese comes from dairy cows that have not received rBST and all dairy cows must be fed a strictly vegetarian diet free from animal byproducts.

Broiler Chickens

In 2020, Blue Apron signed on to the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC), a set of science-based standards for chicken welfare across the food industry agreed upon by leading animal welfare organizations. Blue Apron aligned with Version 2 and are making adjustments to our supply chain to assist us in achieving our goals. Below outlines our journey and our roadmap:


BCC Standard













Maximum Stocking Density of 6 lbs./ sq. ft.



Please note that Blue Apron’s Sustainability Policy reports on an average stocking density. 5% of our purchases were over 6.0 lbs./sq. ft. but holistically over the course of the year we came in under 6.0 lbs./sq. ft.



Please note that Blue Apron’s Sustainability Policy reports on an average stocking density. 5% of our purchases were over 6.0 lbs./sq. ft. but holistically over the course of the year we came in under 6.0 lbs./sq. ft.





Standards for Lighting







Standards for Litter



We meet all the litter standards except a soiled feather check. 



We meet the litter

standards except a

soiled feather and

litter assessment.





Environmental Enrichments







CAS – a multi-step controlled-atmosphere processing system that induces an irreversible stun







Higher Welfare Breeds 







3rd Party Audited


Third party audited by USDA Process Verified Program and Merieux NutriSciences Certification, LLC.


Third party audited by USDA Process Verified Program and Merieux NutriSciences Certification, LLC.





Laying Hens (Shell Eggs)

We prioritize the purchase of shell eggs from laying hens that are Certified Humane Raised & Handled ® pasture-raised.


We seek to source fish and seafood rated either ‘Best Choice’ or ‘Good Alternative’ by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch at the time of its onboarding or that have recognized sustainability certifications (e.g. Marine Stewardship Council, Aquaculture Stewardship Council, Best Aquaculture Practices). In some instances we will consider smaller fisheries who are involved in fishery improvement projects (FIPs).

For information about our fish and seafood sustainability program, please see our public profile at The Ocean Disclosure Project

Our Commitment to Transparency and Accountability

Our commitment to animal welfare guides the sourcing decisions we make for all meat and poultry products in our supply chain. This commitment is shared across our organization, with oversight from our Senior Vice President of Procurement and Supply Chain and Protein Category Directors and Managers, and its implementation is the responsibility of our Head of Sustainability and Social Impact, Vice President of Food Safety & Quality, and Director of Regulatory Affairs.

In 2022, we launched a Responsible Sourcing Council and we continue to maintain processes to ensure that all of our meat, poultry and egg suppliers live up to the standards described above and are committed to providing our customers with transparent information. We look forward to providing updates on our work, including specific progress toward implementing our goals, in the future

What’s in a Blue Apron Ice Pack?

blue apron box contents
A delightful unboxing

If you’ve gotten a Blue Apron box recently, you’ve probably had the experience of pouring a melted ice pack down your sink. 

It might seem like a small detail, but at Blue Apron, we’re proud of our gel packs. In 2019, we became the first meal kit company to introduce drain safe, fully recyclable gel packs (developed in partnership with Nordic Ice). Our packs were so impressive that we received the 2019 Packaging Innovation Award from Dow.

These award-winning gel packs replaced our old polymer ice packs. The polymer version worked well, but it wasn’t recyclable. We’re always looking for opportunities to improve the sustainability of our product, and we knew the ice packs had to be tweaked. The current version is water-based, and the contents can be safely drained down the sink. Once emptied, the plastic exterior can be recycled via in-store drop off (tip: use How2Recycle to find your closest drop off). 

We estimate that switching to drain safe gel packs saves approximately 7,624,768 gallons of water per year based on 2019 data. That’s roughly the equivalent of 11.5 Olympic swimming pools!

Learn more about our commitment to sustainability here.

All about Egg Labels


In any given grocery store, the egg section is filled with dozens of options. Not only do you have to choose between jumbo or extra-large and white or brown, you also need to sort through dozens of labels that hint at the origin of the eggs. Some of these labels give useful information about how eggs are produced, but some are just marketing ploys designed to conjure up idyllic images of happy hens roaming freely on green pastures. So how can you tell the difference, and which eggs should you choose? Read on for our comprehensive guide to grocery store egg labels. 

Common egg labels and their meaning 


According to the USDA, “Free-Range” only means that hens are “allowed access to the outside.” Technically, a producer could put in a few small windows and call birds “Free-Range.” This label isn’t a guarantee of animal welfare, of how much time hens spend outside, or of the quality of the outdoor space. 

Pasture Raised 

Pasture raised eggs are a step above “Free-Range” and “Cage-Free.” This label is a good indicator that birds are mostly raised outdoors, with the ability to roam and forage. However, the requirements for this label are not established by the USDA, so it’s best if it is also attached to an animal welfare certification. 


To use the label “Cage-Free,” hens can not be confined to a typical caged housing system. They must have access to roam the facility in which they’re housed. This label does not specify or guarantee how much space they’re given, so they’re often cramped and cannot roam freely. It also does not guarantee access to the outdoors, and is not enforced by inspection.

“Certified” Organic 

The USDA regulates use of the term “organic” on egg labels. That means these eggs are produced in accordance with defined standards, and require on-farm inspections. Certified Organic eggs come from hens that are fed only organic feed, have never received antibiotics or hormones, and are considered free-range. There is still lots of room for variation from Certified Organic producer to producer. For more information, the Cornucopia Institute has a scorecard.

No Hormones 

U.S. federal law requires that hens be raised without supplemental hormones, so while this label is true for any carton labeled as such, it’s also true for any carton not labeled as “No Hormones.”

“Enriched with” Omega 3

This term indicates that the hens were fed a diet with an Omega-3 supplement, often flax seeds. It does not offer insight into hen treatment or egg nutrition. 


Chickens are not naturally vegetarians; they are omnivorous. Left to their own devices in a pasture, they’ll eat plenty of worms and bugs. That’s why you won’t typically see this claim on pasture raised eggs. When hens are raised on an entirely vegetarian diet (which in factory farm settings typically means corn and soy) without synthetic supplementation, they risk being nutritionally deficient. In extreme cases, they may fall sick or start seeking out protein elsewhere—typically by starting to peck at other hens.

Natural, All Natural, Fresh, or Farm Fresh

All of the above are mostly marketing terms. The only information they really provide is that you’re getting a real egg from a real hen. These terms don’t offer any facts about how the hens were raised, what they ate, or how they were treated. 

Animal welfare certifications

Including: Certified Humane Raised and Handled, Animal Welfare Approved, American Humane Certified, Global Animal Partnership (GAP), United Egg Producers (UEP) Certified and UEP Certified Cage Free

These labels are defined and enforced by third-party animal welfare organizations. In order to use this label on a product, farms must pass an inspection. Because of this, these labels are a good indicator of hen quality of life. 

Other egg labels you may see

Grade AA, A, or B 

Egg grades are not indicators of hen welfare or nutrition, but only the quality of the egg itself. These grades are based on the shell, white, yolk and air cell in the egg. Each grade is are defined by the USDA

  • Grade AA – “thick, firm whites and high, round yolks” and strong shells
  • Grade A – same as Grade AA, but “reasonably firm” whites (usually sold in stores)
  • Grade B – “thin whites and wider yolks”, shells may be stained

Extra large, large, and other sizes

Egg sizes are also not indicators of welfare or nutrition. These size labels range from Jumbo to Peewee (yes, really), and are defined by the USDA by minimum net weight per dozen and minimal net weight for individual eggs. They apply to all egg grades

So how should you choose? 

Labels alone can’t tell you everything. If possible, look for additional information or third party certifications, like Certified Organic and animal welfare certifications, to know where your eggs are coming from. 

About our eggs

Blue Apron eggs come from Vital Farms. All of our eggs are Certified Humane Raised and Handled ® pasture raised. These labels require that hens be in pasture year round and for a minimum of 6 hours per day (weather permitting), that each hen has 108 square feet of pasture, and that pasture be covered mainly with living vegetation. It also guarantees that hens have access to a shelter to roost without fear of predators. The Certified Humane program is run by Humane Farm Animal Care, a non-profit certification organization, and enforced by on-site inspections. 

Blue Apron chose this standard because we believe that access to a pasture is critical to high welfare for hens, and humane treatment of animals in our supply chain is a Blue Apron priority.

Food Waste: What You Can Do at Home

Hannah Koski is the director of procurement & sustainability at Blue Apron.

reduce food waste

Food waste is making headlines. The closure of much of the food service industry has turned the food supply chain on its head. The news is filled with photo after horrifying photo of vegetable crops rotting in fields, and gallons of milk being dumped out. Coronavirus has scrambled the way that the United States produces, distributes, and consumes food, and the results have been catastrophic.  

The pandemic’s impact on food waste is staggering. Tens of millions of pounds of food are being discarded as service industry demand plummets, and this problem isn’t new. Before schools, restaurants, and other venues shut down, we were already wasting 30-40% of our food supply in this country. ReFED, a leading multi-stakeholder non-profit committed to reducing food waste in the United States, estimates that 52 million tons of food are wasted every year. That amount is equivalent to $218 billion, or 1.3% of GDP. More than 40% of that waste, in excess of 20 million tons annually, occurs at the household level.

Today, Americans are grocery shopping—and stockpiling—more than ever. It seems inevitable that the amount of  food ending up in trash cans, and ultimately in landfills, is going to be on the rise. That wasted food comes with enormous environmental costs. According to the USDA, food waste contributes roughly 18% of total U.S. methane emissions from landfills. Factor in the energy that was used to grow, manufacture, and distribute that food, and it’s clear we have a big problem. This waste has a social cost as well. Feeding America estimates that 37 million Americans struggled with hunger before the coronavirus pandemic, and food banks have experienced record demand since. 

There are, however, some simple things we can do. These tips can help limit how much food we, as consumers, are sending to the landfill.

  1. Plan your meals. Plan out meals each week to use up what’s already in the fridge and pantry, and keep cross-utilization in mind. If one recipe calls for kale, plan on a second kale recipe so that you can use up the whole bunch. Make a list and stick with it when you shop. Be careful to not buy too much of what you already have.
  2. Store food correctly. Storing food correctly will give it the longest possible shelf life, giving you time to use it up and prevent spoilage. Keep your fridge organized and you’ll be able to keep an eye on what needs to be eaten. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has an interactive food storage guide at
  3. Learn about labels. A “sell by,” “use by,” or “best by” date refers only to quality, not safety. Food that has passed any of those dates may still be good to eat.
  4. Get creative. Designate a “clean out the fridge” meal; make croutons from stale bread or play around with pickling. “Recycling” food can cut down on spoilage not only from surplus stocks, but also from those scraps that would otherwise get thrown in the trash.
  5. Donate! Buy too much? If you went a little overboard on the stockpiled flour and rice, donate what you can to your local food bank. Feeding America allows you to search for the food bank nearest you by zip code on their website.

Meal Kits and Food Waste

A recent comparative life-cycle study from the University of Michigan found that meal kit dinners produced 25% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than their store-bought counterparts. This study took into account every step in the process—from growing and procuring ingredients to packaging waste. 

The key to meal kit sustainability is reducing food waste. Grocery stores have less packaging per meal, but more food waste. Meal kits have more packaging, but lower rates of food waste.  

You can work to reduce food waste in your home, but it doesn’t start there. Grocery stores typically overstock produce to accommodate unpredictable demand. Ultimately, much of this excess stock goes to waste. Meal kits like Blue Apron have reimagined this supply chain, and the structure allows for less food waste in the home and at packaging facilities. 

Blue Apron continues to strive towards reducing waste at every step of the process with a goal of sending 100% recyclable packaging by 2025.

How to Recycle with Confidence

Plastic bags? Pizza boxes? Bubble wrap? Sometimes figuring out how to properly recycle can be as much work as meal planning. Resources like Earth911 and How2Recycle® make it easier, but it can still be confusing. Here’s a breakdown of how to read a How2Recycle label, and how to find the best spot near you for recycling some of those trickier items. 

How2Recycle is a standardized method of labelling that aims to make recycling instructions as clear as possible. Check your cupboards and you’ll find their instructions on everything from pasta boxes to chocolate bars. There are four key sections that will give you information about how you recycle your item, detailed below.

how to recycle
How2Recycle label

For specialty items, the How2Recycle label may indicate that you need to locate a drop-off site. If that’s the case, Earth911 is the easiest way to find the location nearest you. Not all recycling centers have the exact same capabilities. Some process only aluminum and rigid plastic, while others are able to treat complex items like laminated plastics bags and textiles. 

To make recycling the contents of your Blue Apron box even easier, we’ve created a smart guide that can locate the recycling centers nearest you. To view your downloadable guide, click the button below. Just use your phone to scan the QR code next to each item, and follow the instructions to find local sites for every type of recyclable packaging that Blue Apron sends.

Blue Apron and Feeding America

The spread of COVID-19 has disrupted lives across the globe. Over the past few weeks and months, personal and professional plans have been turned upside down: weddings have been cancelled, and businesses have shuttered. Many people in the U.S. have found themselves fearing for their loved ones, and for their own safety. With the novel coronavirus continuing to spread, there’s no denying that our most vulnerable communities will be hit the hardest. As the nation and the world continue to grapple with this uncertainty, we’re wondering, what can we do to help?

Feeding America® is a United States–based nonprofit organization. Their nationwide network of food banks is responsible for feeding more than 40 million people annually. They accomplish this important work with a network of food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other community-based agencies. Feeding America is uniquely equipped to help those who are most at risk, including children, seniors, and those who have lost income as a result of COVID-19. 

In this time of crisis, Blue Apron is partnering with Aspiration, which offers banking services with a conscience, to support the food community. Not only will we continue to serve our customers, we’re striving to help those in need as well. That’s why we’ve chosen to support Feeding America’s mission to end hunger and to protect vulnerable communities.

Any and all readers can donate directly to Feeding America using the button below. Aspiration’s current and new debit card users have an extra chance to contribute. Now through April 30, 2020 Aspiration will donate $100 to Feeding America when you purchase your next Blue Apron box with an Aspiration debit card. You can sign up for an Aspiration debit card here. Together, we can rise to this challenge and continue the fight against hunger.

The Pasture-Raised Chicken or the Egg

Matt O’Hayer, co-founder of Vital Farms, is describing all the ways he loves to cook eggs. 

“Soft-boiled and marinated in a ponzu sauce…poached in a sous vide…a variation on eggs Benedict with lobster or crab meat on a muffin or wilted kale with hollandaise sauce—egg on egg, hard to beat!”

Matt grew up in Rhode Island, where he sold eggs in the ‘60s, pushing a cart door-to-door. As a kid, he visited the farms where beautiful, brown Rhode Island Red hens laid, and saw how they lived: on the grass, outdoors.


Fast forward several decades: Matt found himself thinking again about eggs. Now living in Texas, he purchased a farm and began to raise chickens. He ended up selling the farm, starting another business, selling it (“I get bored easily”), and moving full-time onto a catamaran with his wife.

But his thoughts kept returning to eggs. He remembered how incredible the eggs he had sold when he was younger were, with their bright yellow yolks and thick shells, thanks to the chickens’ primary diet of nutritious grass. In the years since, he had all but stopped eating eggs: he didn’t believe the ones he could get from the grocery store were ethically raised (“The chickens are being tortured”), and not coincidentally, he thought, they didn’t have the same delicious flavor.


Matt decided to start his third and final egg business: Vital Farms, a company that uses the highest available standard for raising laying hens: “pasture-raised.” Based on the European standard for “free-range” (1,000 birds per hectare), 108 square feet doesn’t necessarily mean flat, open space. On the contrary, it ideally means a varied topography, with hills and shade and fallen logs that chickens love to flutter up on.

Happy chickens are a riot. They follow you everywhere in big, cooing packs. They nip curiously at your boots. They flop on their backs and take glorious dust baths. They’re a fascinatingly complex social animal that is happiest foraging in its natural environment.



Seafood in a New Light: The Truth About Wild and Farmed Fish

It’s no secret that we’re huge fans of seafood: it’s a delicious and, most importantly, sustainable source of protein. Not to mention, producing seafood requires dramatically less energy than other animals. For example, it only takes one pound of feed to create one pound of fish, but for meat and poultry it can require up to nine times as much feed.  Supporting sustainable seafood choices is a win-win for us all.


While not all fish are created equal when it comes to sustainability (some require too much feed, some are endangered, etc.), one thing is for sure: avoiding a certain fish has nothing to do with whether it was farmed or wild-caught, despite the misinformation floating around out there about fish farming, or aquaculture. The truth is that both wild and farmed fish are equally crucial to a sustainable seafood system. When done the right way, aquaculture allows us to meet the growing global demand for seafood—300 billion pounds, at last count—without depleting wild fish populations, such as what we’ve seen with the nearly 50% decline in marine life populations in the past 40 years.


We know it’s not easy to figure out how to make informed decisions when choosing seafood, especially if it’s not as simple as picking wild vs. farmed. For starters, when it comes to wild fish, it’s best to go for fish that have been caught using methods that don’t disturb natural habitats and prioritize the long-term health of the ocean, and to steer clear of endangered species, like Atlantic cod (we only source wild Pacific cod, which is both tasty and plentiful).


And what exactly is the right way to farm fish? Firstly, the farm should use closely-regulated practices that maintain or improve the health of the environment. Low-density pens that support the well-being of the fish, allowing them ample space to swim around, are one responsible option. Lastly, the fish should be fed as efficiently as possible, which means choosing species that can grow and thrive on a smaller amount of food.


These are just a few points to consider, but we understand this is a complex issue with a lot to keep track of. That’s one of the reasons why we’ve partnered with Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, one of the world’s most well-respected guides to sustainable seafood. If you’d like to learn more about what makes sustainable wild-caught seafood or aquaculture, visit the Seafood Watch website. We work with Seafood Watch to ensure that all our seafood is sustainably-sourced, but when you’re at a restaurant or your local market, this printable pocket guide by Seafood Watch is a great resource to keep on hand.



  1. In addition to sustainable seafood recommendations, the official Seafood Watch page has tons of great info on aquaculture and wild fisheries.
  2. Learn more about our partnership with Seafood Watch here.
  3. Dive deeper with author and seafood expert Paul Greenberg in his best-selling book, Four Fish.

Our Commitment to Sustainable Seafood

We believe sustainability is the most vital ingredient to great seafood. That’s why we’ve partnered with Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch®, a non-profit organization who shares our commitment to building a better food system and is one of the world’s most well-respected guides to sustainable seafood. As much as we love cooking with fish, we recognize the urgent need to source it responsibly. The ocean covers 71 percent of the Earth’s surface and is home to more than one million species. We rely on it for everything from our livelihoods to the air we breathe to providing us with a steady supply of healthy, delicious seafood. But just as we depend on the ocean for so much, it in turn depends on us for protection.

042216_Blog_SeafoodWatch_V06_02According to a 2015 World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) report, marine vertebrate populations have plummeted over the last fifty years, largely due to overfishing and destructive aquaculture (or fish farming). It’s a scary statistic, but here’s the good news: By committing to sustainable practices, in how we fish, how we farm and how we eat, it’s within our power to help restore the health and vitality of this precious natural resource. And that’s exactly the goal we’re working toward in partnership with Seafood Watch.


When it comes to seafood, we know it can be tricky to decipher all the options. Should you go for wild-caught or farmed? Atlantic or Pacific? What does sustainability even mean? Sustainability applies to seafood that’s been sourced in ways that consider the long-term well-being of the ocean and the communities who depend on it for their livelihoods. Contrary to popular belief, not all wild-caught fish is good—many species, like Atlantic cod, for example, are nearly extinct due to overfishing—and not all farmed fish is bad. In fact, aquaculture that’s closely regulated can be a great option, helping take pressure off wild fish stocks.

Matt Wadiak, one of our founders and our COO, has led the initiative to ensure that all of Blue Apron’s seafood is sustainably sourced, whether wild-caught or farmed. “We’re trying to build a regenerative closed loop food system,” he says. “It’s our goal to change the way people eat seafood in this country. Seafood Watch takes a holistic approach to the health of the world’s oceans, focusing on both fishing and aquaculture, and their mission to preserve and regenerate the ocean, is uncompromising. We can’t think of a more perfect partner to strengthen our commitment to sustainable seafood.”


Seafood Watch empowers consumers and businesses to make informed choices using a comprehensive ratings system indicating which seafood items are “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative,” and which ones to “Avoid.”


We’re proud to partner with Seafood Watch because of our mutual commitment to finding the best ingredients and building a sustainable food system. Through this partnership, we can ensure we’re always bringing you seafood that’s both high quality and sustainably sourced. “Blue Apron’s seafood sourcing was already excellent even before we joined forces,” Bigelow says. “They’re constantly working to improve the sustainability of the seafood supply chain. That’s the key to making real change on the water.”

Seafood plays an important role in a balanced diet—when caught or farmed responsibly, it’s an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. We know cooking fish at home can be intimidating, so our culinary team is constantly thinking of new seafood recipes so you can try your hand at getting the perfect sear on a salmon, or making a spicy shrimp red curry—perhaps even getting little ones to try fish for the first time.

When you cook with Blue Apron, you can be confident that you’re receiving high-quality, sustainable seafood. But what about when you’re out at a restaurant or at your local grocery store? Use this guide by Seafood Watch to help you make smart decisions. Our choices make a difference on every level, and by choosing to eat sustainably, you’re helping ensure an abundant seafood supply for generations to come.


How We’re “Upcycling” Our Blue Apron Boxes

We make a point to source materials that we can recycle when we’re done using them to hold our dinner ingredients. While a lot of you are recycling them, we’ve found that some of you aren’t. But why?

In this post, we’ll be looking at how people are reusing the various components of their packages in creative ways instead of recycling them. Now’s a good time to introduce the concept of “upcycling.” If you haven’t heard this term before, “upcycling” refers to using materials for another purpose than originally intended. We’ve rounded up some of the best examples of how you’re reducing and reusing by upcycling everything that you’re not eating in your package. Let’s all get behind this movement!

The Box

It’s no secret that a box is great for storage. It just so happens that our boxes are the perfect size for rocket ships and cat play pens. We’ve even heard that they’re just the right size for your vintage records, and even your toddlers.

Spaceship from JenniferFlemming

Cat in the box from @sassyandsmiling


We know a lot of you are donating your icepacks to the Boy Scouts, local soup kitchens, and other organizations, but here are some examples of how people are using them now that it’s time for summer BBQs. Best idea yet? Keep those backyard brews cold with some good ole Nordic icepacks.

Cooler from @Nerdymobile

Or take the box, liner, and icepacks to go for a beach picnic. Look closely at the picture, Blue Apron makes an appearance in the midst of this beach fun.



During the colder months, we heard that a handful of members were turning the boxes with the insulated liners into shelters for stray cats. Aww. Others use them for outdoor recreation for their families. Seriously.

Liners from Claudia D

Plastic Baggies

It’s not every day that you come across such a medley of different sized baggies as you find in a Blue Apron box. After you cook with us for a few weeks, you will receive a perfect sized baggie for pretty much any object or occasion. Cherries for a picnic? Silverware? You got it–pack it on up!

We’ve also heard that you’re using the medium sized baggies to mix spice mixes or dry ingredients for your recipes. Keep one more bowl clean and use a baggie to do the mixing!

Paper Bags

Now here’s one that we’re especially excited about. As you’re cooking, keep the paper knick knacks bag handy. Throw your used lemon wedges, the tops of tomatoes, and other scraps from the recipe into the bag. Now what? Compost it! Paper bags provide a carbon rich structure to your compost pile. Not only do they break down, but they provide valuable nutrients that might otherwise be missing.

Paper Bag Composting

Plastic Bottles

We spoke too soon–this one might actually be our favorite. We’re all about bringing lunch to work–a nice home-cooked meal can cozy up a work day. But when you bring a salad and don’t want mix the dressing in ahead of time out of fear of wilting greens, our little bottles come in handy. They’re perfect for one serving of salad dressing, soy sauce, or whatever it may be that you want to bring on the side.

Salad Dressing Bottle

Leftover Ingredients

Part of the appeal of Blue Apron is not having leftover ingredients. And yet, well, sometimes you do. Here’s how to upcycle two of those extras so you can use them when you’re ready.

Save herbs. Save those stems! You can get a second round out of those guys, and some of our members are putting this to the test. Put the stems in a cup of water, and they could sprout again–like this Thai Basil!

Thai Basil from Erika A

Save garlic. We know we send you a lot. But we certainly don’t think that’s a bad thing. Here are some recipes that will help you use up the extra cloves that accumulate from week to week.

Extra Garlic?

 We hope you’ve enjoyed these tips on how to upcycle your Blue Apron box. We’d love to hear your ideas–share them below in the comment section!