Greening our Fellowship Time

By Karen Kreider Yoder

Dear Congregation,

We are trying to eliminate single-use plastic in our lives, and to that end, a snack team recently prepared the fellowship hour snack as free from single-use plastic as possible.  It was quite a challenge, as most of our food is packaged and delivered to us from a distance in single-use plastic, rather than local and seasonal.   

Here are a few ideas we gleaned from our experience:


Local, Seasonal, and Single-use Plastic Free Options

Section 1


2 platters

Veggies from farmers market or sold loose in grocery store, put into cloth produce bags rather than plastic.

In fall: cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, beets

In winter: broccoli, kale, radishes, spinach, beets, arugula, carrots, cauliflower

In spring: asparagus, kale, lettuce, carrots, cabbage,

In summer: avocados, carrots, corn, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes



Homemade dips:  guacamole, hummus, salsa, other.

Section 2


Cheese (32-40 oz)

Cheese bought in a large wheel, cut up


This was the toughest category to find non-single-use plastic packaging or to make homemade. We welcome your ideas.

Section 3


2 platters

Fruits in season from farmers market or sold loose in grocery store, put into cloth produce bags rather than plastic.

Cut in bite-sized pieces and serve with toothpicks, if needed.

In fall: apples, berries, figs, grapes, kiwi, melons, pears, pomegranates, stone fruit 

In winter:  citrus fruit, kiwi, persimmons, pomegranates

In spring: cherries, strawberries, rhubarb

In summer: berries, cherries, figs, melons, stone fruit


2 varieties

1 gallon total

Homemade lemonade — from tree to table! 

Homemade iced tea

Juice bought in cardboard or glass container.

Half and Half:

1 pint ½ and ½

1 pint nondairy

In cardboard or glass containers

Homemade almond “milk”

Section 4

Baked goods:

Equivalent of:

4 doz cookies

2 loaves sweet bread

Bread from bakery, in paper bag

Homemade bread, butter, and jam

Homemade fruit cobbler

Cookies from a bakery that packages in paper

Homemade cookies, brownies, bars, pies.

Section 5




inc. gluten-free

Tortilla chips sold in a paper bag.



Lots of options in glass jars or homemade

Vegan baked goods:

Label as such

Lots of great recipes for  plastic-free options

Outside the box: Granola and yogurt bar (add fruit, nuts, dried fruit)

Ice cream sundae bar (add whipped cream, chocolate sauce, fruit, nuts)

Salad bar

Sandwich bar

Build your own taco

We welcome your ideas, and we encourage other snack teams to take on the single-use-plastic-free challenge!

For a greener future,      

Karen Kreider Yoder