We are now three-quarters of the way through Plastic Free July. Only 1 week to go, but I feel that some of the good habits that I have established (and bad habits that I have avoided) will hopefully continue indefinitely.
One of the most difficult things to do when you are minimising the use of plastic is to walk down the snack food aisle in the supermarket. There really isn’t anything that you can buy that isn’t wrapped in some kind of plastic, even if it is hidden within a cardboard box. Ordinarily I would buy the odd bag of corn chips or pretzels, but I have avoided these completely for the past three weeks. Although I have admittedly had the odd Tim Tam from a communal packet at work.
I have been thinking more creatively about what plastic-free snack foods I can eat this month and have come up with the following alternatives:
- Bread with an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dipping sauce: This is very quick to put together as well.
- Popcorn: This obviously does not include the microwave bag variety. I have recently discovered that I can buy popcorn kernels from our local Wholefoods store without the use of plastic. I use a popcorn machine, but they can easily be made in a saucepan as well.
- Pita crisps: I have been making my own pita crisps by simply brushing the top of each pita bread with olive oil, sprinkling the top with some spices and then putting it in an oven at 180°C for 15 minutes. I then break them up into a large sealable container to snack on later. I must admit that I have only been able to find pita bread in plastic bags, but there are 5 pita breads to a bag so at least I am reducing the number of bags that are being used. The bag is quite handy for reuse, otherwise we can recycle it at one of our local supermarkets.
- Biscuits: We made our own ginger bread last week. Alternatively, I can buy gingerbread men from the local bakery without it having any packaging.
- Homemade dip with carrot or celery sticks: Examples include hommus and guacamole.
- Savoury and sweet muffins and scones: I made pumpkin date scones during the week, which included dates from our local wholefoods store. Muffins using seasonal fruit are another great idea.
- Seed, almond and dried fruit mix: I pinched this idea from our local supermarket after buying bags of the stuff pre-made. I now make it myself with mostly pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and sunflower seeds, together with some almonds and dried fruit (I’ve been using raisins and dates, but other dried fruit can be used). All of the ingredients have come from our local wholefoods store.
- Hot jam donuts: Usually if you get them from a hot jam donut van they will be served in a paper bag, plus the jam is piping hot, which makes it even better as long you don’t burn your mouth!
If anyone else has any great snack ideas, I’d love to hear them.