In my prior blog post, The Reduce / Recycle / Reuse problem, I cited some alarming statistics about the amount of plastic we use and the evolution of recycling over recent years. It's critical that consumers and producers focus more on reducing and reusing as the key to the solution rather than just recycling.
I’ve been trying to drastically reduce single use plastics from our house. As a busy mom of two, I’m drawn to items that bring more convenience into our lives so it’s tempting to keep our pantry stocked with items like juice boxes, puree pouches, granola bars, and bags of chips that the kids (and I) can eat on the go. But not only are these snacks often chock full of sugar and additives, they also produce a lot of plastic waste.
It’s difficult to change habits overnight, but I’m all about taking baby steps. We usually carry our snacks in reusable glass, steel or plastic containers...but they make our bags more bulky, especially when traveling.
Last week I decided to make homemade granola bars with my kids, and package them in eco-friendly compostable bags. This was a great opportunity to cook with my kids (always a fave in our house) and to help my son Alekh understand why reducing our reliance on packaged goods can help keep the Earth clean.
Materials and instructions are below!
For no-bake granola bars, I adapted a few different recipes based on what I had in my pantry. If I do this again, I’ll probably follow a recipe like this one from Simplicity Relished, but use my combination of chocolate chips, peanut butter and coconut flakes because they’re delish! What I used:
- Steel cut oats (rolled oats are better, but I was in a pinch!)
- Peanut Butter (I used sunflower butter, but not a huge fan of that taste)
- Coconut flakes (YUM!!)
- Chocolate chips (had to have extra because Alekh ate half while cooking)
For the Packaging:
- If You Care Compostable paper sandwich bags
- Washi tape (or regular scotch tape. I just love washi tape)
Instructions: For the granola bars, mix everything together in a big bowl and press it flat into a pan. We refrigerated it for a few hours to let it harden. Cut into desired size and put each into a bag. Roll up the bag and tape! Store in fridge.
My review: Ours tasted great but were a bit crumbly, which is why I’d follow another recipe like the one I linked above. If I’d had more time, I might also do less chocolate chips in the actual bars and instead drizzle melted chocolate on the top to hold it all together a bit.
The paper bags will get some oil spots from the granola bars, but they are fairly large and wrap around the bars a few times to stay nice & dry in the fridge.
You can also use the compostable bags to package other types of dry snacks in batches and then grab them when you’re on the go! In fact, I used these bags to pack some carrot sticks for Alekh's field trip last week and they were great.
Here are some other healthy homemade snack ideas that would be perfect in these bags - I hope to try them soon:
I had such a great time making these delicious treats with my kids and it gave me an opportunity to teach Alekh about sustainability in a fun way!
Take a step towards making your lifestyle more sustainable by adding Bubbsi's clean coconut oil skincare products in refillable silicone bottles to your little one's bathtime routine!