Yes, zero waste snacks exist. No, they aren’t hard to make. It just takes a bit of prep and planning ahead. I totally love snacking – it’s definitely my weakness – so having a bunch of zero waste snacks prepared is key to my success. That is, assuming my parents don’t get to them first. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve cut up veggies to snack on and found their stash depleted in the morning. I’m looking at you dad (he’s a midnight snacker). That aside, there are some zero waste snacks that require a lot less prep, while others require a lot more. It all depends on your own preferences and how much time you have. In this post, I give you not only alist of zero waste snacks to consider, but also waste free ways to store them (and take them with you to work or school). Without further ado, here are 33 plastic free snack ideas and how to store them.
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Produce is perhaps one of the easiest zero waste snack types you can think of. I particularly love fruit. Being I have a sweet tooth, fruit really helps curb alot of my sweet cravings.
But some veggies make great snacks too, especially paired with dip or hummus (which we get more into later on).
- Melon cubes
- Carrot sticks
- Raw broccoli
- Bell pepper slices
- Sliced radishes
- Sliced cucumbers
- Snap peas
You can get most of these snacks at your local farmers market. Just bring reusable produce bags and totes with you.
Do your best to buy seasonal foods whenever possible – they’re often packed with the most flavor and nutritional value. Generally speaking, I love snacking on peaches and berries in the summer months, strawberries in spring, apples in fall and winter.
Just make sure you compost any odds and ends!
Storage: Cut up certain fruits and vegetables ahead of time (like carrots, bell peppers, broccoli) and store them in a glass jar with a lid. You can easily transport these to school or work. If you like pairing it with dip, consider putting the dip at the bottom of the mason jar, and pack the vegetables at the top. For fruit or vegetables with protective skin, you can just store them wherever they usually go in your home until ready to eat. On the way out of the house, wrap them in a cloth napkin for safe keeping.
Sometimes, getting your zero waste snack fix takes a little more effort. Like heading to a bulk food store, instead of buying it packaged in plastic.
One of my favorite snacks to grab in bulk is definitely chocolate chips. I may have a problem…
- Trail mix
- Dried fruit
- Rice crackers
- Chocolate covered goodies
You can get these zero waste snacks from your local bulk food store in your own containers. You might even be able to find bulk candy there as well (but hey, I’m trying to help you stay healthy, so…).
If you don’t have access to a bulk food store, I recommend trying to find these items as sustainably packaged as possible. Certain items may be hard to do that for though (ex: trail mix usually comes in plastic pouches – ugh).
You might be able to make some of these items yourself too (like homemade granola, dried fruit, crackers).
Storage: You can store most of these items in a glass jar with an airtight seal. Just leave them in your pantry and snack on them as you will. If you’d like to take them to work or school with you, consider taking them in a small glass jar, a tiny metal tiffin, or a reusable snack pouch of some sort. You could even try squeezing some of these snacks into your lunch box. Whatever you like best.
Nothing beats homemade meals…or snacks, right? It certainly always tastes better that way, and you get full control over the ingredients, which is a bonus. Plus, no plastic! You can grab all the ingredients needed plastic free at your local farmers market or bulk food store, to make your own treats.
- Potato chips
- Roasted chickpeas
- Kale chips
- Chocolate bites
- Root vegetable chips
- Homemade granola
No way around it, these zero waste snacks definitely require some prep! Some more than others, but still.
Popcorn is definitely the easiest to make on this list. I just get it from the bulk food store and heat it up over the stove in a stainless steel pot with some coconut oil and salt. Always cover it with a lid because there’s a reason they call it popcorn!
I’ve made some delicious almond pulp hummus before as well – that was a great way to reduce food waste and get a snack out of it too. You can dip anything from crackers to sliced carrots in there.
I really want to make some kale and root vegetable chips soon. I hear you need a dehydrator to make beet chips though (which I don’t have, and those happen to be my favorite – figures).
Storage: These homemade snacks can be stored in anything from glass jars to glassware. Some things may need refriegeration (like hummus) while others do not. I put popcorn and homemade chips into bowls and eat them practically right away – if I don’t finish, I just cover it with some beeswax wrap to keep things fresh. You can also use metal tiffins to transport cookies and muffins around. I also like to bring popcorn to the movies with me, if I know I’m going.
These are some of my favorite zero waste snacks. What are yours?
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