Sustainable snacking has never been easier. With so many options on the market, those who want to try out sustainable snacks don’t have to live in a big city anymore to be able to do it. From online stores of eco-friendly snacks to entire aisles in the grocery store, there is a lot to try out there.
With all the option however, it can be overwhelming to some to know where to even start. Where are the best sustainable snacks? Where can someone find plastic-free snacks? What are fair trade snacks? If you’ve ever been curious or want more ideas, read on!
What Makes a Snack Sustainable?
There are so many things that go into making a snack sustainable. How can consumers know exactly what makes a snack sustainable? By looking at the ingredients list, the packaging, the sourcing, and the company practices, you can find out what the best sustainable snacks are.
Why are vegan snacks sustainable snacks? Because they don’t contribute to the third most damaging industry on the planet- the animal agriculture industry. They are responsible for more emissions than all forms of transportation combined, endless habitat destruction, and among other things, water pollution.
When a snack is vegan, you can automatically be sure that it doesn’t contribute to any of that. This immediately gives it sustainability of some kind, making vegan snacks some of the most eco-friendly snacks on the market.
There are a lot of myths surrounding the word “organic”, but at its core, it simply means that no harmful pesticides or chemicals were used to grow a crop. When something is certified as being organic, consumers can have peace of mind in knowing that they aren’t part of the problem that these chemicals pose.
Pesticides are rooted in warfare, since they were introduced to the market when the military had extra chemical weapons on their hands, post-WWII.
If that’s not alarming enough, the effects of them have certainly alarmed communities across the country who deal with the fall-out of their overuse. Chemicals are killing the soil, and those who live in it. It’s making it harder to grow nutritious food, and it’s causing a plethora of health problems in humans as well.
Buying organic snacks is a great way to stand up against the practice, and to ensure that you’re buying sustainable snacks.
Snacks with Green Packaging
Plastic is a huge problem that the world faces. It’s killing the seas, the land, and animals across the planet, and people are starting to realize this. Who can unsee photos of turtles with plastic straws and birds with stomachs filled with plastic bottle caps?
There are so many snacks that don’t come in plastic, or that come in recycled plastic (plastic that is being repurposed, rather than just discarded).
It’s also important to note that not all plastic is the same. For example, plastic film or potato chip bags are pretty much impossible to recycle or reuse, whereas plastic tubs are pretty simple.
Paying attention to not only the ingredients, but the packaging itself is an important thing to do when considering which snacks are sustainable.
Fair Trade Snacks
Climate justice is a field that finally got attention a few summers ago. That said, it has existed for a long time, with many recognizing that how people treat the environment affects those who live in it.
It can also go the other way around. When people are provided with resources, education, and safety, it is more likely that they will be able to care for the land around them.
Fair Trade certified snacks address this idea. They ensure that a company is following ethical human labor practices, and that those who harvest the food or otherwise help make it are treated with kindness. This can include ensuring that no slavery was supported, or making sure that the farmers were paid a fair wage.
Snacks that are certified as being Fair Trade are more sustainable, so it’s important to support those brands as much as possible.
Palm Oil-Free Snacks
Palm oil is destroying the rainforest in Indonesia– one of only three major ones left on the planet. The harvesting practices kill hundreds of orangutans, elephants, tigers, and other beautiful creatures every year.
The industry also contributes to widespread habitat destruction, erosion, and other issues associated with monoculture crops. It’s best to steer clear of snacks that have it in them, and aim to buy palm oil-free snacks.
Where to Find Sustainable Snacks
It can be daunting to know where to find snacks that fit some, let alone all, of these categories. However, there are quite a few places where you can find sustainable snacks that are both delicious and good for the planet.
Every snack included in the Vegancuts Market was hand-picked by those who care deeply about the environment and animals alike. You can browse through hundreds of ethical options, making it ideal for those who are picky or want to try lots of different eco-friendly snacks. It’s also very convenient thanks to it being an online experience.
Shop at Your Local Co-Op
Chances are, you have a local co-op near you! Co-ops help to support local growers and makers, and have everything set at a fair price to reflect the work that went into making them. It’s a great option for those who want to shop for eco-friendly snacks locally.
Visit the Farmers Market
If you love fruits and veggies, this is a fantastic place to get them. Farmers markets are ways for local growers to sell their goods, which not only means you’re supporting local farms, but that you’re reducing the emissions needed to transport the snack to you. You’re also more likely to find plastic-free snacks here.
How to Find Eco-Friendly Snacks in a Pinch
If you are in a rush, and don’t have time to find a farmers market or co-op, there are eco-friendly snacks in every grocery store. Look for snacks that are either made locally (such as local bread), or snacks that have plastic-free packaging (such as crackers in cardboard boxes).
There’s a little of that everywhere, but it won’t compare to the amount of options you could find somewhere like Vegancuts.
Forage for Sustainable Snacks in Nature
There are so many snacks in nature that can be foraged for! Take a foraging class or check-out a book at your local library to learn about what grows near you. You can pick goodies like berries and mushrooms, all for free! Thanks to these snacks being straight from nature, they are certainly sustainable snacks.
The 7 Best Sustainable Snacks
Not sure where to begin looking? Here are a few of our favorite vegan and eco-friendly snacks from the Vegancuts Market!
What makes it so sustainable?: The company saves over a hundred thousand pounds of food waste yearly by using the entire fruit. They also donate food to children living in at-risk communities, and the only ingredient in the bag is apples.
What makes it so sustainable?: These crackers come in cardboard and are made using oats- a crop that is very water-efficient. The company works with local Scottish farmers and millers as well, making the snack also socially conscious.
What makes it so sustainable?: The company reduces food waste by “upcycling ugly sweet potatoes”- or the ones that few pick out when shopping for them. Due to the fact that 20% of “ugly” produce is thrown out, this is a big deal. They’re also certified organic!
What makes it so sustainable?: The dried fruit is certified organic, making it a chemical-free way to enjoy fruit. They were also grown in Turkey, where the land doesn’t have to be modified in order to grow apricots.
What makes it so sustainable?: This snack is certified organic, and is made with environmentally friendly oils like sesame and sunflower oil. It’s also a cruelty-free source of omega-3!
What makes it so sustainable?: The company donates 10% of all proceeds to wildlife conservation, and is Fair Trade certified. They also source all of their berries from the United States, and every bar is made with eco-friendly ingredients.
What makes it so sustainable?: Every ingredient in every bar is organic and completely natural. The company sources only from small farms around the country, and crafts the snacks themselves in their own kitchen. The bars are also sweetened with dates- a more eco-friendly alternative to sugar.
Looking for more sustainable snack ideas?
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