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DESIGN & STYLE

Six Eco-Friendly Snack Hacks for When You're Short on Time

From meal prepping like a pro to buying in bulk, these simple tips and tricks are here to make snacking more sustainable.
By Joe Rivers
June 07, 2021
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By Joe Rivers
June 07, 2021
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in partnership with

At the beginning of each year, many of us vow to be more health-conscious and eco-friendly, but life gets in the way and it's often too tempting to pick up additive-laden, mass-produced snacks without thinking about the consequences. Ever since the industrial age, convenience has been put above the environment. Not to mention the popularisation of quick 'n' easy foods in the 40s and 50s, with the likes of McDonald's, Spam and TV dinners. But now, with increasing awareness of how our diets impact the planet, it's time to shake up our snack habits for the better.

That's why we've teamed up with the folks at Glad and its Glad to be Green range to come up with some oh-so-convenient — and sustainable — snack hacks, so you can better look after yourself and the planet.

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Trent van der Jagt

BUY IN BULK

When you're at the supermarket, it's all too easy to just buy what you feel like eating that evening. But, this is a surefire way to spend half your life trudging the aisles looking for inspiration. If you plan out what you need for the week, you only need to make one trip rather than several (which, you know, is also good for the environment), and you'll also reduce waste by planning a schedule that makes optimal use of your food. Even better, head on over to an environmentally conscious, waste-free outlet, such as The Source Bulk Foods stores across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, to get the exact volume of pantry staples you need.

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MEAL PREP LIKE A PRO

This one might not seem like a timesaver when you're doing it, but we guarantee you it is — and you'll be thankful that you took the time for days afterward. Cooking multiple portions of food doesn't necessarily mean it takes more time than preparing for just one dish. It also means you will have midweek meals prepped and ready for a quick reheat on those busy days when time seems to get away from you. Also, some dishes can taste better a couple of days later — think curries, stews and soups — so it's a win-win. And, for any baking you're doing, be sure to make the switch to Glad's compostable baking paper. It's certified home compostable, and it even breaks down in a worm farm.

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PALM OFF PALM OIL

Due to its versatility and the relatively low cost of its production, palm oil's use skyrocketed in the 20th century. However, such a quick expansion has been at a huge environmental cost, with native forests in the tropics bulldozed and burned to make way for new plantations. The knock-on effect is huge, with everything from loss of animal habitats to the warming of the atmosphere and the violation of indigenous land rights all attributed to palm oil's so-called popularity. It's an ingredient found in plenty of ready-made food, so, if you care about the environment, you may want to rethink that choccy bar. Thankfully, it's quick and simple to make your own planet-savvy, palm oil-free bites. Think bliss balls, granola bars, savoury muffins, veggie chips — you name it, there are plenty of recipes out there. And, think of the bragging rights when you bring your own homemade snacks to work.

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SAY HELLO TO SMOOTHIES

We've all been down to our local cafe and bought our favourite smoothie or juice without giving a second thought to how easily we can make them at home. Not only do we usually spend too much money on store-bought smoothies, but we're letting all those browning apples, wilted kale bunches and slightly bruised avos go to waste. Instead, save your pennies and throw in any bruised and browned fruit and veg in a blender. Smoothies and juices take no time at all to make, and you'll have a tasty, healthy and filling snack (or brekkie). And, if you're really keen, you can pre-chop your fruit and veg, pop them in Glad's plant-based sandwich bags and throw them in the freezer for those mornings when you hit snooze too many times.

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TRY OUT ALTERNATIVE PROTEIN SOURCES

Australia is a country concerned about over-farming and the environmental impact of agriculture — according to Animals Australia, about 12.1 percent of us are now eating a fully or mostly vegetarian diet, which is up from less than ten percent in 2012. So, if you want to steer clear of the industry while still getting your protein fix, there are plenty of alternatives — from lentil patties and vegetarian sausages to bush tucker. And you can incorporate this ethos into your morning flat white, too. All alternative milks are better for the planet than dairy, with oat milk widely considered the best of the bunch from an environmental impact standpoint.

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SOUPER SUNDAYS

Weekends are great — we get to sink into the sofa, catch up with friends and get to tick off some of the fun things on our to-do lists. But, Sundays always roll around too quickly, with Monday looming ever-closer. Didn't make it to the shops or local farmers market this weekend? We get it, sometimes living your best life gets in the way of chores. But, you probably do still have some food in your fridge and cupboard that needs to be used, and you need lunch for the week. This is where soup is your friend. Get your biggest pot, put all your veg in, add water, stock, herbs, spices and whatever else you fancy and, bingo, you've got a cheap, waste-free meal. Plus, Glad to be Green's, plant-based bags — which are made with 50 percent sugarcane (a renewable resource) and have a smaller carbon footprint — are great for when you want to split your soup into portions and freeze for later. Not only that, but they also have a handy space to date and name the contents to avoid any mix-ups (and potential sore tummies).

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Go green and visit the Glad website for more tips and tricks.

Published on June 07, 2021 by Joe Rivers

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