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Kitchen Staples

Food & Drink, Kitchen Staples

Over 30 Plastic-Free Snack Ideas

Are you looking to reduce the plastic from your snack habit? I have put together over 30 plastic-free snack ideas to keep your taste buds and your bin happy! 

This article originally appeared on Kempii – a great site with advice and products to reduce waste – and we thought it would be great to share here too as part of Plastic-Free July.

My Favourite Plastic-Free Snack Ideas

Fruit

how to keep cut apple fresh

The original plastic-free snack. You would think that fruit should be a simple and cheap zero-waste snack. However, buying loose fruit is, depending on where you shop, a little tricky. What’s more, buying loose can often be pricier compared to prepackaged fruit. Sometimes the plastic packaging is there to prolong the lifespan of the fruit, preventing food waste. It’s certainly a minefield, and you can only do what you can.

If you have the choice then opt for the most seasonal and local fruit you can find – here’s a handy month-by-month guide if you’re stuck for ideas. Seasonal fruit is often the cheapest and the tastiest option. Whereas out of season fruit has normally been grown energy intensively in heated hothouses and is low on flavour.

If there are slim pickings at your local shop, then bananas, despite travelling a long distance to reach us, have a surprisingly low carbon footprint. They are grown in natural sunlight, which means that no energy-intensive hot-housing is required. And unlike softer fruits, like grapes, berries, and kiwi fruit, they keep well, so although they are often grown thousands of miles from where they are sold, they are transported by boats, which is less energy-intensive than air freighting produce.

Make it special: slather your fruit in a nut butter or chocolate spread. This could be homemade or shop-bought (in a glass jar) – whatever works for you.

Vegetables

Over 30 plastic-free snack ideas

Again, another of the original plastic-free snack ideas! Depending on the season, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, radishes, and pea pods make for great low effort raw snacks. Again check out the month-by-month guide to what’s in season before you head to the shops.

To help ensure your vegetables don’t go to waste, prepare ahead by peeling and chopping your vegetables into batons. Then store your vegetables in a reusable tub for healthy snacking on the go, or to keep to hand in the fridge for when hunger strikes. It’s often easier to reach for a healthy snack if you’ve done all the hard work in advance!

Make it special: dip your vegetables in a homemade hummus or dip to liven things up a bit.

Zero-Waste Smoothies

plastic-free smoothie ideas

Smoothies are a great way to use up fruit and vegetables that are going off, and can even be frozen in jars or your old tupperware containers. Just take your smoothie out of the freezer the night before, defrost in the fridge, and it’ll be ready for morning.

You can create a smoothie out of almost whatever you have to hand – for inspiration check out the BBC’s Good Food recipe guide.

Bulk Plastic-Free Snacks

popcorn - one of many plastic-free snack ideas

If you have a bulk shop near you then here are some suggestions of plastic-free snack ideas that you can pick up next time you are shopping:

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Dried fruit
  • Chocolate
  • Chocolate covered treats such as raisins and nuts
  • Rice crackers
  • Granola
  • Popcorn

If you don’t have a bulk shop in your vicinity then bulk shop what you can at your local supermarket. Lidl is good for loose nuts, and some Holland and Barrett shops do have a small bulk section.

Apart from those options, plastic-free snacks are definitely trickier. Things you can do instead are to shop smarter. Instead of buying individual boxes of raisins, for example, buy a big bag of raisins that you can divide up into small reusable tubs. One big bag of popcorn kernels lasts longer than a bag of pre-popped popcorn. A big sharing bag of crisps, that again can be divided up into smaller reusable tubs uses less plastic than buying individual bags of crisps.

Plastic-Free Sweets

zero-waste snack ideas

Sweet shops may sadly be few and far between these days, but some high streets do have an elusive sweet shop. Here you can fill up a paper bag full of your favourite sweet treats – some may even let you use your own container. The hardest part is deciding which sweets to pick!

Got a kids party coming up? Neary’s Sweets sell bulk plastic-free boxes of sweets and they ship without plastic too. This is a great option for party snacks and for filling party bags with. 

If chocolate is more your thing then many chocolate bars are plastic-free. The good news is you don’t have to go far – some can easily be bought from your local supermarket or corner shop if you’re in desperate need of a quick sugar rush!

There is also a growing variety of chocolatiers, selling online and in specialist shops, that cater to vegan, organic, palm-oil free, and gluten-free diets, depending on your preferences. 

Seed and Bean is a particular favourite. Accredited as the most ethical chocolate producer in Britain by the Good Shopper Guide, not only is their chocolate fairtrade and organic, but the paper outer wrapper is recyclable and the inner wrapper can be composted at home.

Zero-Waste Snack Ideas to Bake or Make

zero waste crisps recipe

Finally, let’s not forget the snacks that can be baked or made at home. Some favourite snacks to make include:

  • Granola
  • Hummus
  • Popcorn
  • Crisps – this is a great recipe for zero-waste crisps (pictured above)
  • Roasted Seeds
  • Muffins
  • Biscuits
  • Scones
  • Kale Crisps
  • Tortilla Crisps
  • Roasted Chickpeas
  • Bread
  • Flapjacks

I’ve suggested some simple snack ideas here that you can bake or make with relatively little effort, but really, the sky’s the limit here. The internet is your friend – search for recipes or even try searching for a recipe based on what leftovers you have on the excellent Love Food Hate Waste recipe finder to help you reduce your food waste. 

Despite our best efforts, sometimes food does go bad. With most food that has gone bad, sadly it has to go straight into your composter, however if you’ve got some black bananas then don’t throw them out. Black bananas are super sweet and completely edible. This vegan banana bread recipe works best with the blackest bananas you can stomach – as the blacker the banana the sweeter it is. So if you forgot about those bananas languishing at the bottom of the fruit bowl don’t fret, consider yourself in luck! 

I’ve suggested over 30 plastic-free snack ideas here, but there are loads more out there too. Do share your favourite snacks in the comments below.

Food & Drink, Kitchen Staples

Bulk Shopping Online – 10 Things You Can Buy In Bulk for Around £20 or Under

bulk shopping online guide
This post contains affiliate links

Do you have a zero-waste shop near you? Whilst the number of zero-waste shops are growing, a large proportion of us – including yours truly – don’t live near enough to a zero-waste shop to be able to shop there on a regular basis. Enter bulk shopping online.

When my budget and where space allows, I occasionally buy one product at a time online to make a mini zero-waste pantry. When I say mini, I mean mini. We live in a small house so we have space for about three or four cartons at a time, and I haven’t figured out how bulk food storage could work in our small space yet.

Where to Bulk Shop Online

If you have more space then your bulk shopping online possibilities are relatively endless. Some products are prohibitively expensive to buy in bulk, but here are 10 products you might like to buy in bulk over time for around £20 or under. If this is above your budget, you could split the cost with likeminded friends or neighbours – starting your own little zero-waste co-operative!

All options are vegan and cruelty-free, with all products carrying Leaping Bunny and Vegan Society labeling.

Bulk Personal Care Products

Suma White Lavender Shampoo (5 litres) – £21.95

Although Suma’s shampoo is the most expensive product in this roundup, as well as a shampoo, it also makes an effective shower gel, bubble bath, and liquid hand soap, making it a real multi-tasker. I decant a little into a recycled bottle with a pump top and this bottle does everything.

I’ve linked to Amazon here because this is the most expensive product in the round-up and all the other sites that carried this product had a delivery fee, pushing the price up higher and potentially out of reach for some. If you’d rather avoid Amazon, and can pay extra for delivery then you can also purchase it at Super Food Market or Real Foods.

Suma White Lavender Conditioner (5 litres) – £21.95

I haven’t tried this one yet because funds haven’t allowed it, but if you’re looking for a conditioner then this one might be worth a try. If you’re on the fence, because I know conditioner can be a tricky one to get right depending on your hair type, then trying out a small bottle before committing to a 5-litre carton could be a wise move.

Conditioner can also be doubled up as a great shaving gel.

Again, Amazon, but it can also be purchased at Super Food Market or Real Foods.

Bulk Cleaning and Laundry Products

Bio-D Pink Grapefruit Washing Up Liquid (5 litres) – £10.68

I DIY a lot of my cleaning products but effective washing up liquid has always eluded me. Instead, we’ve been using this Bio-D one for items that can’t go in the dishwasher for a good six months or so now and I reckon I still have enough washing up liquid left in the carton for at least another 2 years. We use it on pots and pans, baking trays and the roasting tin – all the tough mucky stuff basically – and haven’t found a job it can’t handle yet.

Ecoleaf Non-Bio Laundry Liquid (5 litres) – £14.39

I couldn’t find any powdered eco-friendly laundry detergent in bulk for under £20, but this Ecoleaf laundry liquid has enough for 125 washes. This one ticks a lot of boxes – it’s vegan, not tested on animals and palm-oil free too.

Bio-D Multi Surface Sanitiser (5 litres) – £11.19

If you can’t or don’t want to DIY a cleaning spray then this multi-surface liquid, when diluted and decanted into a spray bottle, will clean your house from top to bottom – kitchen and bathroom included.

Bio-D Concentrated Toilet Cleaner (5 litres) – £9.27

A bulk toilet cleaning option at a price that’s kind to pockets. I would decant this into an old squeezy washing up bottle for ease of application.

Bio-D Sanitising Hand Wash (5 litres) – £15.99

It’s been a revelation to me to learn that not everyone is into solid bars of soap, but now I know there are myriad reasons why not everyone loves bar soap. If bar soap isn’t for you then this bulk carton of hand wash could be a good alternative.

Bio-D Floor Cleaner (5 litres) – £18.04

To save needing to buy a separate product, the Bio-D multi-surface sanitiser is probably effective at cleaning your floors with. However, if you are particular about your floors and require a specific floor cleaning product then this floor cleaner with linseed soap is the one for you.

Bulk Pantry Staples

Organic Basmati Brown Rice (5 kg) – £18.27

Organic Wholewheat Fusili Pasta (6 kg) – £13.88

Buying food staples in bulk online in such large quantities might not suit everyone, but if you’re a family that eats a lot of rice and/or pasta and have the money to buy in bulk upfront, and the requisite storage space, then it could work out economical in the long run (and hey, you never know what Brexit is going to bring).

Over to you. Are you a fan of bulk shopping online? If so, let me know if you split the cost with friends or if you have worked out a clever storage system for bulk food bought online!