6 Earth-Friendly, Diet-Savvy Snacks to Try Today

Eat healthfully while reducing your carbon footprint in the process.

Green Organic Edamame with sea salt

Medically reviewed in September 2021

Updated on March 15, 2022

Here's a simple way you can start living greener, while managing your weight in the process.

Reach for low-carbon-footprint snacks, suggests nutrition expert Kate Geagan, MS, RD, author of Go Green Get Lean. Eco-friendly snacks with short ingredients lists and minimal processing tend to be not only more earth-friendly but also more waist-friendly.

6 great low-carbon choices
Geagan says the ideal snack should have about 100 to 175 calories. They should also have just a few ingredients, have little packaging, and take minimal amounts of resources to produce (which tends to mean less processing). Here are a few of her favorites:

  • 3/4 cup of edamame pods with a pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon cashew butter spread on 1 cup of apple slices
  • 3 cups of air-popped popcorn
  • 6-inch whole-wheat tortilla with 1/4 cup of black beans and 2 tablespoons of fresh salsa
  • 1 cup of organic, local fat-free milk (or soymilk), steamed, with one teaspoon of almond extract and one tablespoon of dark cocoa powder
  • 10 dark chocolate chips and 10 walnut halves

Snacking drawbacks
Eating snacks made as close to home as possible helps the earth, too, writes Geagan. So what's the problem with popular snack favorites such as those perfectly portioned 100-calorie snack packs? They tend to contain long lists of non-nourishing filler ingredients, and they often come from far away, where lots of human and environmental resources were used to produce them. Not to mention, each nifty handful-sized portion requires its own wrapper and packaging, which adds to the loads of garbage that end up in landfills. 

So start helping the planet—and your health—by going natural when it comes to snack time. 

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