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My Favorite Zero Waste Snacks

I love snacks. In fact, I’d eat nothing but snacks given half a chance! And while at home it’s easy enough to grab a handful of nuts or dish up a big scoop of hummus with some crackers, finding zero waste snack ideas on the road can be a whole different story.

I’ll admit, convenience can seem like it goes out the window when you start pursuing zero waste lifestyle, unless you have strategies in place to keep things simple.

But with a little planning, it’ll soon become second nature to think about taking your own snacks with you when you’re going to be out all day.

As such, I’ve mostly listed options below that are just as convenient as reaching for a bag of chips. These are my favorite zero waste snacks for a reason!

Every one of these zero-waste snack ideas has a few things in common:

  1. Convenience – Nothing complicated here!
  2. Substance – These are real, unprocessed foods.
  3. Plastic-free snacks – You may recycle, or compost, but you won’t toss a thing. 
Zero Waste Snacks

The Best Waste Free Snacks

Choose these easy snack options next time you’re craving something healthy, balanced, and capable of getting you to your next meal.


I am a big believer that seasonal fruit and veggies are the best snacks in any situation. Pair these with some nut butter or a bit of nut cheese or hummus and you’ll be well on your way to feeling full and satisfied.

And the best bit? They come pre-packaged in nature’s finest invention – their own skin! Forgo the plastic-wrapped fruit, and choose loose at the grocery store. Just remember to take along your own reusable produce bag to carry it all in.

If you’ve got a fussy child like mine who prefers his apple cut into slices than whole, cut it up ahead of time and store it in a reusable container, plastic-free ziplock, or glass mason jar!

Some ideas to get you started;

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Bananas
  • Citrus fruits
  • Carrots sticks
  • Bell peppers
  • Melon cubes
  • Berries of all sorts
  • Snap peas
  • Stone fruit
  • Cucumber slices
  • Radishes
  • Celery sticks with nut cheese or peanut butter

Bulk Bins & Bulk Snack Ideas

Your local grocery store, health food stores, bulk stores and organic stores are all great places to stock up on treats to satisfy your snack habit.

Where we used to have a pantry full of individual packets, it’s now full of glass jars that have been filled up from the bulk aisle! And while not everything is available at your local bulk food store, you can also purchase packaged items (look for recyclable packaging) in larger quantities to make low waste snacks. Then just divide them up into smaller portions when you get home.

Again, when shopping in the bulk section, be sure to bring your own reusable containers or cotton bag with you.

Here are a few ideas to look for (we’ve found all of these where we shop):

  • Trail mix
  • Mixed nuts and seeds
  • Chocolate chips
  • Dried fruit or fruit leather (such as apricots, mango, cranberries or raisins)
  • Chocolate-covered nuts or fruit
  • Japanese rice crackers
  • Wasabi peas
  • vegan cookies
  • Banana chips
  • Apple chips
  • Pretzels

Read More: How to Put Together a Bulk Shopping Kit

Make-Ahead Snacks

Sometimes the best waste-free snacks are those you make at home! You can control exactly what goes in it, it’s often far more cost-effective, and of course, you can make things according to your own personal tastes or dietary requirements.

I often dedicate a Sunday to stocking up the fridge and pantry with homemade snacks such as granola, cookies and bliss balls – it makes it so much easier to eat healthier during the week, and costs a whole lot less than buying it all from the grocery store.

Below are some ideas for make ahead snacks, and I’ve linked up some my favorite recipes too! When packing any of these healthy snacks to take on the road, remember to opt-out of cling film, and use plastic-free packaging instead, such as reusable ziplock bags, containers or beeswax wraps.

Vegetable Chips

While fresh produce makes an excellent snack on its own, sometimes you just feel like something more! Turning vegetables into chips is an excellent way to get that ‘treat’ factor and they’re perfect for a healthy lifestyle.

Some of my favorite vegetables to turn into chips include:

Bliss Balls / Energy Balls

These little balls of energy are my secret weapon when it comes to having a tasty snack on the go! They curb my sweet tooth, and make a great zero waste snack too!

You can make them all manner of ways, but the base is normally nuts or nut butter, along with coconut, oats, dates, and seeds. They’re super simple and don’t take much time to make, and kids love them too! They make great lunch box fillers.

Here are some of our family favorites:

Homemade Granola and Granola Bars

We go through so much granola at home, I now have my trusted recipe on repeat. It’s crazy how much stores charge for this stuff, especially if it’s organic, when it’s super easy to make for much less at home!

Rustle up a batch, or a double batch if you have a large family (or just eat it a lot as we do), and it’ll store well in a large glass jar or airtight container. When taking it out as a nibbly snack, just scoop some into your reusable ziploc, small glass jar or whichever of your own containers you have handy!

Here are the best granola recipes we use:


Homemade popcorn is like the OG of zero waste snacks. We normally whip it up in a simple air popping machine (that we picked up from a thrift store), but you can also make it on the stove very easily.

Once air popped, we stir through some coconut oil and sprinkle a little sea salt on top – it tastes so much better than microwave popcorn and doesn’t contain any of the hidden nasties!

If you want to spice up your popcorn a little here are some ideas:

  • Sweet & Salty Popcorn
  • Sprinkle some nutritional yeast on your popcorn along with the coconut oil and salt.

Baked Goods

Homemade beats store-bought when it comes to cookies and cakes! Not only do you forgo plastic packaging, but it’s a great way to make healthier choices and incorporate natural ingredients when you make your own.

Our regular baked goodies include:

Other Miscellaneous Healthy Snacks!

  • If you’re grabbing breakfast on the go, make some overnight oats the night before. They’re filling, quick to make, and cheap! Make them in a glass jar with a lid, and you can enjoy them anywhere.
  • Another perfect kid-friendly snack is these crunchy roasted chickpeas. We used to buy these from the organic store, but gave that up when we started our zero waste journey as they were packaged in plastic bags.
  • If you’re looking for some yummy spreads or dips to take on a picnic, you can’t go wrong with a good homemade hummus, guacamole, or onion dip!

I really hope all these plastic free snacks have given you loads of inspiration! Once you get into the habit of being a little prepared, you’ll soon find that store bought chocolate bars and plastic wrapped treats hold little appeal over wholesome and filling waste free snacks!

But remember, everyone is human and it’s ok to forget your homemade snacks and have to grab something from the store – don’t beat yourself up about it! In that situation, if you can, choose something like fresh fruit or nuts in compostable packaging. And use it as a reminder to bring your own from home next time!