When deciding whether to buy a product there are usually a couple of things we at One Green Planet try to keep in mind. Is the product vegan? Organic? Fair trade? Palm oil free? While these details are usually prominently displayed on labels, there are definitely some amazing things that companies do (or abstain from doing) that are not explicitly written on packaging.
Some companies donate portions of their profits to support issues they are passionate about or choose to only use sustainable packaging for their products. Others seek to initiate change through their hiring practices, by giving those less fortunate better career opportunities. Whichever way they choose to give back to the community, we are always looking to support these businesses, and raise awareness to their do-good practices. Which is why we gathered 17 vegan products whose companies are each playing a unique part in making this world a little bit better. You may just want to consider buying these the next time you’re online shopping!
KUTOA Health Bars
KUTOA Health Bars are gluten-free, soy-free, and non-GMO nutritional snack bars. For every bar sold, KUTOA will feed a child, locally and globally. KUTOA has partnerships with World Food Program, Foundation Communities, and Covenant House so that either vital multi-nutrient packs, KUTOA bars, or fresh sandwiches are delivered to children in need. No wonder they chose the name KUTOA, which translates as “to give” in Swahili.
The company offers several bar flavors but this particular posting is for the Peanut Butter and Jelly Bar which is made from gluten-free oats, date paste, cherry paste, pea protein crisps, brown rice syrup, agave, peanuts, and flax seeds. Reviewers are reporting that these bars are tasty, are a great mid-day snack, and are light enough for pre-work out munching. While one reviewer points out that each of these bars has 16 grams of sugar, another reviewer makes a good point by stating that all of the sugar included is natural and from fruit. If you’d like to try these out, you can get 12 bars for about $29.
Surf Sweets Sour Gummy Bears
People who do not eat gelatin for religious or dietary reasons know that gummy bears are pretty much number one on the do-not-eat candy list. That is unless you’re eating Surf Sweets Gummy Bears. These candies are 100 percent vegan, free from the top allergens, and are non-GMO. Surf Sweets is part of 1 % For the Planet, a coalition of companies that have agreed to donate one percent of their profits to various environment and conservation programs.
These gummy bears contain no artificial flavors or colors and are instead sweetened with evaporated cane juice. Reviewers are reporting that these gummy bears are a healthy alternative to typical, have a nice sour flavor and then turn sweet, and tastes “real” and fresh. You can get a pack of 12, 2.75-ounce bags for $20.
Honest Tea Peach Tea
Honest Tea Peach Tea is an organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO tea that combines black tea leaves and peach purée. All of the tea leaf varieties and cane sugar sources Honest Tea uses are fair-trade certified. They’ve funded 20,000 tree plantings in rural communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America and have retrieved and recycled over 500,000 of their bottles.
Reviewers are saying that this tea is the perfect level of sweetness, has significantly less sugar than other pre-made tea brands on the market, and provides a nice caffeine jolt “without the afternoon crash.” You can get one 59-ounce bottle for $2.75.
Sensible Portions Veggie Straws
Sensible Portions Veggie Straws are a gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, and non-GMO snack made primarily from potato starch, potato flour, corn starch, tomato paste, spinach powder, beet powder, turmeric, and salt. Sensible Portions collaborates with TerraCycle, an organization that processes these types of materials on an industrial scale to turn them into a material that can be reused. Through a program called “snack brigades” helps consumers capture their used snack bags to get them to a TerraCycle facility.
As for these veggie straws, reviewers are reporting that they are the perfect snack for people with several food allergies, they are much healthier than the typical potato chip, and are deliciously addicting. You can get six one-ounce bags for about $4.
Druids Grove Vegan Cheese Kit
Have you ever wanted to make your own dairy-free cheese from scratch? With Druids Grove Vegan Cheese Kit, you can! This non-GMO and organic product comes with everything you need to make vegan mozzarella cheese including lactic acid, soy milk powder, tapioca flour, kappa carrageenan, sea salt, and coconut oil. In addition to encouraging people to make and enjoy environmentally-friendly dairy-free cheese, Druids Grove donates one percent of their profit to animal welfare organizations.
Druids Grove says that the mozz cheese that is produced with this kit is perfect for lasagna, eggplant parm, and pizza. According to reviewers, it takes about 15-20 minutes to make the cheese and as long as the directions are followed, it turns out well. You can get one kit for $20.
FLY JOY Energy Bars
FLY JOY Energy Bars are gluten-free, kosher, and non-GMO bars that are made with a base of ancient grains. According to their website, 10 percent of the profit from each bar goes to HOPE International, a nonprofit organization that empowers families to break the cycle of poverty.
Reviewers describe these bars as wholesome, perfectly sweet, and cookie-like. You don’t usually see the word wholesome and cookie in one sentence but looking at the ingredient list of this product, you could see how it’s possible. These bars combine creamy almond butter, brown rice syrup, quinoa crisps, tart dried blueberries, whole almonds, flax, and chia. You can get a box of 12 bars for $30.
Mamma Chia Squeeze Packs combine delicious fruits and veggies with nutrition-dense chia seeds and purées it all together into a drinkable beverage. These pouches are three and a half ounces and contain 1,200 milligrams of omega-3s. Mamma Chia is a Certified B Corporation, a member of 1% For the Planet, and a founding member of the Slow Money Alliance. Mamma Chia donates 1 percent of gross sales to support farmers, community groups, and organizations that are building healthy, local food systems.
While Mamma Chia pouches can be refrigerated for a cool treat, they’re also perfectly fine at room temperature straight from the pouch – very convenient, as one Amazon reviewer pointed out. You can get 16 pouches for $26.
Essential Living Foods Raw Cacao Nibs
Cacao is a chocolatey-tasting bean that is loaded with antioxidants, protein, and fiber. For example, in every three-tablespoon serving of Essential Living Foods Raw Cacao Nibs there are nine grams of protein, three grams of fiber, and 24 percent of your daily magnesium intake. As with all of Essential Living’s products, these cacao nibs are ethically sourced and sustainably harvested. They also have global trade partnerships which, according to their website, “help nourish sustainable agricultural practices and support meaningful development.” They donate one percent of their profits to further environmental stewardship.
Reviewers say that these cacao nibs are delicious and addicting, and one reviewer shares that these add a nice flavor and crunchy texture to hot chocolate. You can get one eight-ounce package for about $14.
Alter Eco Dark Quinoa Chocolate
Alter Eco Dark Chocolate Quinoa Bar is an organic, fair trade, dairy-free, and gluten-free chocolate bar. It is made with cacao beans, raw cane sugar, cocoa butter, quinoa-rice crisps, and vanilla beans. This bar is also carbon neutral and sustainably sourced. Alter Eco prides itself in providing equal job opportunities for women, helping their quinoa and cacao farmers on-the-field as well as through initiatives like their laptop donation program, and aiming for zero environmental impact by calculating the amount of carbon they emit through production and planting thousands of trees.
73 percent of reviewers gave their dark chocolate quinoa bar five stars and have been describing it as tasty and many have noted that the quinoa provides a very pleasant crunch that makes the dark taste more palatable for those who prefer milk chocolate. To try it out yourself, you can get one 2.82-ounce bar for about $4.00.
Nutiva O'Coconut Treats
Nutiva O’Coconut Treats are the prime example of the kind of treat that you can still enjoy even if you’re trying to eat healthy. They are lightly sweetened with coconut flakes, have the smoothness and nourishment from coconut oil, and enjoy a nutty burst of flavor from hemp and chia. They’re also individually wrapped so that you can just grab one for the road. Nutiva, as a company, has several commendable initiatives. Through the Nutiva Foundation, they are promoting industrial hemp farming and awareness, donating one percent of their sales towards sustainable agriculture, as well as funding urban garden and tree-planting initiatives.
Reviewers are reporting that these bite-sized treats are soft, perfect for coconut lovers, and satisfying (even if you just have one). You can get one package of eight pieces for $5.50.
Silk Almond Milk
There are a lot of non-dairy milks on the market. If you’re looking for an almond-based alternative, consider buying Silk Almond Milk. Silk makes a variety of dairy-free products, including coconut, soy, and almond milk. This particular posting is for Vanilla and the packages are shelf-stable and do not need to be refrigerated until opened. Silk works with various companies such as, Change the Course Colorado River Restoration Project and Conservation International, both of which work to conserve natural resources.
Reviewers are saying that this shelf-stable project is convenient, good-quality, and tastes delicious on its own, in coffee, and on cereal. You can get this six-pack of 32-ounce packages for about $22.
2 Degrees Snack Bars
2 Degrees Snack Bars are made from brown rice syrup, vegan chocolate chips, sunflower butter, unsulfured bananas, crisp rice with cocoa, sesame seeds, millet, chia, quinoa flakes, natural flavor, and Vitamin E from sunflower seeds (to preserve freshness). 2 Degrees, as they prominently display on their bars, donates a meal to a hungry child for every bar that is sold.
These bars are pretty sweet with 12 grams of sugar. At the same time, they do pack some valuable nutrition. Each bar has four grams of protein, two grams of fiber, and 20 percent of the daily value of iron. Reviewers are saying that these bars are “excellent” and very healthy. You can get a box of nine for $31.
Numi Tea Variety Pack
Numi Tea Variety Pack includes three of the company’s popular tea flavors: Moroccan Mint, Aged Early Grey, and Jasmine Green. These bags are certified organic and fair trade teas. Numi Tea has won awards for their sustainable packaging, they urge consumers to recycle their cardboard boxes, and compost their biodegradable filter paper bags.
Reviewers are saying the tea is delicious and that this three-pack is a great deal. You can get a total of 54 bags for $20.50.
Endangered Species Dark Chocolate
Endangered Species Dark Chocolate is a 88 percent cocoa chocolate bar that is made from chocolate liquor, cane sugar, soy lecithin, and vanilla. According to the company, the cocoa beans used are ethically-traded from small family-owned farms. In addition to have endangered animals photos and information on their wrappers, the company collaborates with Rainforest Trust and Wildlife Conservation Network to donate 10 percent of their profits to help support species habitat and humanity.
Reviewers are saying that this chocolate is rich and bold-flavored, and admittedly might be too bitter for consumers who aren’t particularly fond of dark chocolate. Their environmental message definitely does not go unnoticed among the reviewers, either. You can get a pack of 12 bars for $30.
Clif Bars make an assortment of protein and meal bars. This particular posting is for their Chocolate Chip protein bar that is made primarily from organic brown rice syrup, soy rice crisps, organic rolled oats, and vegan chocolate chips. They also contain 23 vitamins and minerals. Among other things, Clif Bar is Rainforest Alliance Certified and they also run Project 2080, a company initiative to donate 2,080 hours per year, per employee, to volunteering efforts.
Reviewers are saying that these bars are very tasty and filling, although admittedly high in sugar. Reviewers also pointed out that you may be able to find these bars cheaper at places like Target or Walmart, however, if you don’t live near one of these establishments, it may be worth the money. You can get one six-count package for about $6.
Annie's Homegrown Fruit Snacks
Annie’s Homegrown Fruit Snacks is a gluten-free, soy-free, and organic gummy snack made primarily from tapioca syrup, cane sugar, grape juice concentrate, and plant-derived pectin. Annie’s Homegrown gives grants to schools to grow gardens and participates in volunteering programs year-round.
Reviewers are saying that these fruit snacks are much healthier and more natural than many other gummies on the market today. Many also appreciate the fact that they are gelatin-free and vegan. You can get one 24-count box for $14.
Newman-O’s are a healthy alternative to the traditional sandwich creme cookie. They are made with organic flour and organic sugar and contain no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Newman’s Own has been known as a philanthropic company since its inception. The company has its own charity foundation, and has donated over $450 million to charities around the world.
Reviewers are saying that these cookies are delicious and a healthy alternative to some other cookies on the market. Newman’s charitable endeavors haven’t gone unnoticed either. You can get a pack of six eight-ounce packages for about $15.
Are there any other vegan food companies that give back that we should know of? Let us know in the comments!
Lead image source: irin-k/Shutterstock