With more than 50,000 locations around the globe, 7-Eleven is the world's biggest convenience retailer. (To put that into perspective, McDonald's has fewer than 35,000 stores.) Gas station shops have become nearly as ubiquitous. So what does an eco-conscious snacker pick when wandering these chains' fluorescent-lit aisles? We rummaged through all the packaging and processing to bring you five of the greenest convenience store buys.
APPLES are one of the few items at your local mini-mart not wrapped in plastic. Plus, most stores sell U.S.-grown ones, many from Washington state. (Californians and Floridians might want to opt for local oranges.) You rarely see organic fruit, but corner stores cater to neighborhood needs, so even large chains show regional variation: If an item sells, they'll stock it. Talk to your nearest store's manager to request organic produce, then use your purchasing power for good. About $1 per fruit.
The high-energy CLIF BAR is available at most convenience stores. Power up with its organic ingredients while avoiding nutritional nasties like trans fats, hydrogenated oils, and high-fructose corn syrup. By 2015, Clif—which is already climate-neutral—plans to divert 90% of its waste from landfills and to source Rainforest Alliance-certified cocoa. Meantime, try the popular Chocolate Chip flavor. $1.39 per 2.4-ounce bar