3 Sustainable Snacks to Eat at Work for Earth Month

What if the snacks you ate at work didn’t just taste good, but helped fight climate change, too? Three of The FruitGuys’ snack partners—The Gluten Free Brothers, Climate Candy, and BjornQorn—are making sustainable snacks that do just that. 

All three of these eco-friendly brands are working toward a waste-free, clean-energy future. Read on to learn more about their snacks and stories, just in time for Earth Month. 

#1: The Gluten Free Brothers’ Bites

Marshall and Elliott Rader, GFB founders, holding GFB bites

Michigan-based brand The Gluten Free Brothers (The GFB) became a Certified B Corp in 2017 and started converting its factory to a zero-waste facility. That meant upcycling or reusing 90 percent of its waste, including a tricky byproduct: nut and seed butter buckets. 

Every week, The GFB emptied dozens of industrial-sized buckets of peanut, almond, cashew, and sunflower seed butter to make its gluten-free bars and bites. Those buckets could be recycled, but cleaning them took so much water that it felt wasteful. So, The GFB’s founders, brothers Marshall and Elliott Rader, got creative and formed a partnership with a local farmer.

Two pigs look over a fence

“A hog farmer picks up the buckets and his hogs lick them out,” Marshall told The FruitGuys. “Then, when they’re relatively clean, they go to a grow house and are reused for growing cannabis [a legal crop in Michigan] and other plants indoors.”

The brothers have adopted many new practices to keep their company’s snacks sustainable, and in 2022 they began powering their production facility with wind and solar energy.

“We say our core purpose here is to enrich the lives of our team, our customers, and our planet,” Marshall said. 

The GFB bites in two flavors, Dark Chocolate Coconut and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter

Marshall and his brother Elliott both have celiac disease, which means they can’t digest the protein in wheat, barley, or rye. The GFB makes snacks that they and other gluten-free folks can enjoy. It uses whole ingredients and plant-based proteins to craft energy-boosting bars and bites that are certified gluten-free, non-GMO, and Kosher. 

To celebrate The GFB’s commitment to sustainability during Earth Month, The FruitGuys will add its Dark Chocolate Coconut and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter bites to all of our Thoughtful Snack Boxes in April 2024. They’re also available by the case

#2 Climate Candy’s Fruit Chews

Climate Candy Co-founder Amy Keller holding FAVES with Climate Candy written in the background
Climate Candy Co-founder Amy Keller

Like The GFB, Climate Candy is on a mission to reduce waste—but its aspirations go beyond a single facility. Co-founder Amy Keller told The FruitGuys that her company rescues “perfectly imperfect” fruits and vegetables that would have gone to waste on farms and turns them into candy. 

Climate Candy FAVES fruit chewsIn 2023, Climate Candy saved more than 1 million pieces of produce from landfills. By rescuing that food, the company also helped reduce the waste of other resources like land and water. Each 1 oz serving of Climate Candy’s chewy, zingy, sweet-tart FAVES fruit chews comes packed with a serving of fruits and vegetables.

Amy and her co-founders, Dr. Sue Smalley and Kevin Wall (the founder of Live Earth), were inspired to tackle the food waste problem during a trip to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway, which safeguards seeds from around the world. Amy remembers walking directly into the glacier, marveling at the walls, ceilings, and floors made of ice while peering at shelves covered in boxes of seeds. 

Svalbard Global Seed Vault
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault

“We were there to learn about food security. I witnessed the United Nations installing generators due to climate change to keep the glacier refrigerated for all of the backup seeds in the world,” she said. “On the trip, flying from Oslo, I was also reading the book ‘Drawdown’ by Paul Hawken and learned that fighting food waste is the No. 1 solution to fight climate change. That was a key moment for us. … We felt we could build a company to create something out of the 25 percent of produce that goes unharvested on farms.”

The founders wrote their business plan on that trip. At first, they planned to turn unwanted fruits and vegetables into a nutrition-packed powder, but their vision evolved. Drawing on Amy’s family background in the candy industry (her great-great-grandfather founded Spangler Candy Company, the producer behind Dum Dums) they launched Climate Candy’s FAVES fruit chews in 2022. 

Sustainability is the company’s top priority in every area from its ingredients to its packaging, which is always either 100% recycled or plastic-free. 

“It’s time for people to realize their power to heal themselves and the planet through what we choose to eat,” Amy told The FruitGuys. 

To support Climate Candy’s mission, The FruitGuys will add its non-GMO Assorted FAVES fruit chews to all of our Thoughtful Snack Boxes in April 2024, and offer them by the case for office celebrations. Each pack of FAVES includes candies in four flavors: lemon, cherry, orange, and strawberry. 

#3 BjornQorn’s Popcorn

BjornQorn co-owners Bjorn Quenemoen, Stephanie Bauman, and Jamie O'Shea
BjornQorn co-owners Bjorn Quenemoen, Stephanie Bauman, and Jamie O’Shea

BjornQorn co-owners Bjorn Quenemoen, Jamie O’Shea, and Stephanie Bauman pop their sustainable snacks with solar power. Their passion for popcorn began in 2002 when Bjorn started hosting popcorn parties for his classmates at Bard College—including his roommate, Jamie. 

BjornQorn cooking with solar
BjornQorn cooking with solar

More than a decade later, the friends combined Bjorn’s popcorn know-how with Jamie’s technology artistry to create BjornQorn: non-GMO popcorn flavored with simple, whole-ingredient seasonings. From 2013–2017, they popped all of the brand’s popcorn in a field using a solar-powered kettle that Jamie developed. 

Today, BjornQorn is still committed to using 100 percent renewable energy to power its production facilities.

BjornQorn's solar-powered production facility
BjornQorn’s solar-powered production facility

“The ability to make meaningful progress on climate change is in all of our hands,” Co-owner Stephanie Bauman, the relationship-building expert at BjornQorn, told The FruitGuys. “On June 25, 2020, BjornQorn joined the 100% Committed campaign in partnership with The Climate Reality Project. Our current solar electric facility generates all the energy it needs to make our popcorn, and its production scales up as we grow.”

In 2022, BjornQorn took a step toward expanding its solar-powered operation by purchasing a beloved, defunct local roller rink called Skate Time in Accord, NY.

Roller skater sitting on a counter with BjornQorn
Photo credit Andrew Lipovsky

The rink includes an 8,000-square-foot warehouse space perfect for popping popcorn. Filling the roof with solar panels will allow BjornQorn to increase its power thirty-fold. To preserve Skate Time’s local history, BjornQorn reopened the rink in March 2023. Starting in August 2024, the facility will pull double-duty popping popcorn and hosting skaters. 

“Solar panels aren’t just great for homeowners, but commercial facilities, too,” Stephanie said. “Not only do they help a company’s bottom line in the long term, but their payoff rates are under ten years now. Future occupants of our space will get the same great benefit and continue that same benefit to the environment.”

This Earth Month, The FruitGuys will join BjornQorn’s celebration of solar power by offering three flavors of its signature popcorn—Classic, Spicy, and Cloudy (salty)—in our Thoughtful Snack Boxes. To celebrate Earth Month with your team, you can also order BjornQorn by the case

Three bags of BjornQorn: Cloudy (salty), Classic, and Spicy

The Power of Sustainable Snacks

Celebrating Earth Month in your office by offering sustainable snacks is a great way to support eco-friendly companies that are doing good in the world. By sharing their stories and missions with your team, you can also spread the word about pressing global issues like food waste and clean energy. Those discussions might even spark future solutions.

Plus, did we mention that the snacks taste delicious? It’s a win-win-win. 

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