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Snacking is one of life’s great pleasures, made even sweeter when you can get your hands on healthy treats. These days, the midday muncher has their pick of low-sugar, minimally processed, and allergy-friendly options—but while they may be better for you, they’re not necessarily any better for the planet.
Sustainable snackers, rejoice: These online markets make it easy for those in the U.S. to stock their pantries with bites that are high in nutrition but lower in environmental impact. Poke around them to discover some new favorite treats that upcycle food waste, contain carbon-sucking ingredients, have a positive social impact, or come in biodegradable packaging. Just don’t expect overnight shipping…
Launched late last year, Goldune is a new blog and e-commerce site that seeks to “make sustainability less beige.” They stock the brightest and buzziest home, lifestyle, and personal care products that they can find and rate them on a sustainability spectrum that considers emissions, production practices, sourcing, and end-of-life disposability. To make sustainable living more inclusive (and frankly, less greenwashy and confusing), they also host community discussions and publish eco-living primers.
Goldune’s pop-up site for sustainable food and beverage brands, The Shelf, epitomizes the brand’s fun, colorful approach to sustainable living. Come for the kelp chips and “upcycled” oat-chocolate cookies, and stay for the Earth Lover’s book club and monthly climate updates.
Founder Taylor Cook started Tiny Bodega during COVID to support BIPOC brands working at the nexus of healthy and sustainable snacking. The online shop ships snack boxes across the U.S. filled with goodies that are naturally gluten and dairy-free. They’re selling out quickly, but you can still get your hands on a dinner box (containing mixers, spices, grains, etc.) or a surprise box (containing…I can’t tell you!).
Another online marketplace born out of the pandemic, Upbeet + Rooted specializes in plant-based eats. When COVID hit, the mother-and-daughter founders quickly pivoted their vegan pop-up market to live online. Now, they curate seasonal collections of unique snacks from small businesses across the country. On the lineup for June: Cashew Cheesy Sauce, vegan Ranch dressing, and some very fun-looking cactus leaf juice.
Since its founding in 2015, Imperfect Foods has majorly expanded its offerings and impact. What started as an ugly fruits and veggies provider now stocks grains, sweets, and beauty products. In their snack section, you’ll find things like dark-chocolate-covered pretzels that use leftover pretzel pieces, and dried mango made from surplus mangoes. This year, Imperfect Foods pledged to become carbon-neutral by 2030 and divert a billion pounds of food from the landfill in the process.
Like a beehive with a URL, Hive Brands seeks to construct a rich, equitable food ecosystem. They stock products that fit their “hive five” criteria: sound sourcing, recyclable packaging, low carbon footprint, social good initiatives, and, of course, great taste.
Their easy-to-navigate snack section is super expansive and lets you shop categories like candy & chocolate, chips & pretzels, jerky & vegan jerky, and popcorn & puffs. You can buy items a la carte or go with their prepacked snack set to try something new. They offer carbon-neutral shipping across the U.S.
While eating fresh, local, unprocessed foods is ultimately the most sustainable diet, that doesn’t mean snacking has to be totally off-limits. These five companies have got you and your midmorning cookie covered.