It’s the second of the month, and your pantry supplies are already running low. As if someone told them the month has ended, so they must too! You list everything that needs a refill, get your coat, put your reusable grocery bags in the car, and head to the nearest store.
Flour, sugar, spices, some meat, veggies, and toiletries… You get only half a trolley’s worth of items, and the bill is already in three figures! Ah, the sad state of our economy! The cashier lady asks if you need a grocery bag. You respond negatively and feel good about your eco-friendly choices.
But your kitchen counter at home tells another tale! You restock grains and pulses, cleaning supplies, kitchen staples, beverages, snacks, and toiletries and already have your own little Matterhorn of plastic packaging at the side of your counter!
Oh, the amount of waste we can produce with a single shopping trip! No wonder ice caps are melting everywhere.
But environmentally-conscious shoppers like you quickly noticed the tragedy of wasteful shopping. And thus, in 2007, the first zero-waste store popped up in London. And now, more than a decade later, Europe houses the most zero-waste stores in the world.
Environmentally-conscious shoppers like you quickly noticed the tragedy of wasteful shopping. And thus, in 2016, the first zero-waste store popped up in Berlin. And now, more than a decade later, Europe houses the most zero-waste stores in the world.
So what is a zero-waste store? How are they different from our conventional shops? And most importantly, how can we get more of them? It’s time we tell you all about a plastic-free shopping experience and its benefits.
So sit back and keep reading!
What Is A Zero-Waste Store?
A zero-waste store or a plastic-free shop runs with one aim: Eliminating packaging. They stock wholesale items stored and displayed in dispensers. Shoppers must carry their own containers and bags or buy reusable ones from the store.
Visiting a packaging-free shop feels like a walk in the past. Pulses, grains, detergents, etc., are displayed in big barrels; you can just scoop out the amount you need… Ah, what a treat for vintage aesthetics!
Other key differences that you can expect between a plastic-free shop and a conventional one are:
- Solid shampoo bars and toothpaste tablets instead of the liquid ones that come in plastic bottles
- DIY ingredients for skin care products and cleaning supplies
- Bamboo toothbrushes, cotton swabs, and paper straws
- Menstrual cups instead of tampons, beeswax wraps instead of plastic ones
RELATED: Interested in trying a zero-waste solid shampoo bar? Check out which one is best for you here.
Benefits Of Shopping At A Zero-Waste Shop
So, now we know zero-waste stores are different. But what makes them better?
Here are just a few ways you can benefit the environment and yourself by shopping at a plastic-free shop:
1. You Reduce Plastic Waste
Did you know? Almost 95% of all plastic ever created still exists today.
The stubborn bastard doesn’t decay, break down, or dissolve. It sits in our oceans and landfills and turns them into garbage mounds.
You do not add to the global pile of waste by getting your groceries from a zero-packaging shop. And if you ask sea turtles, that’s the greatest gift you can get them!
2. You Even Take Plastic Out Of The Oceans
You don’t add to the waste AND contribute to decreasing the existing buildup. Most zero-waste shops offer recycled products or packaging. By shopping from them, you help clean the oceans.
For example, if you buy slippers from zero-waste stores, chances are they are made from recycled plastic that the manufacturers took out of the sea. Imagine if we all only bought these slippers. Our oceans would be clean in no time!
3. An Eco-Friendly Adventure
Imagine walking into a unique store where they care a lot about the environment. At zero-waste shops, you’re in for a fantastic eco-friendly adventure. They have lots of clear glass jars with healthy grains, colourful containers with fresh fruits and veggies, and lovely reusable bags for you to use. It’s not just shopping; it’s a remarkable journey to discover a greener world.
4. Fresher Goodies, Less Waste
Pause and picture yourself enjoying a delicious bite of a juicy, organic apple or smelling the fantastic scent of freshly ground coffee. That’s what you get at zero-waste shops! They carefully choose their products, ensuring they are suitable for you and the planet and fresh enough to last without plastic packaging.
Plus, you can choose the amount of edibles you need. The containers or packets won’t bind you to exactly half a kg of flour. If you need just one cup for your lava cake, take just one cup!
5. Saving Money Smartly
You might be wondering, “Does shopping green cost more?” Well, not really! At zero-waste shops, you can smartly save money. When you buy bulk quantities and bring your containers, you save cash and help the environment. Say goodbye to extra costs for unnecessary packaging and say hello to being eco-savvy.
6. Joining a Community of Eco Heroes
As you dive into this eco-adventure, you’ll meet awesome people who care about the same things you do. The folks who run the shop and other shoppers are all part of a friendly community of eco-heroes. Share cool ideas, recipes, and stories, and feel the love for our planet grow. Together, you’re making a real difference in protecting our Earth.
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7. Your Own Green Journey
You can choose what suits you and your values best in a zero-waste shop. It’s your green journey, and you can make it awesome. Every time you buy something, you’re serious about reducing waste and being kind to the planet. It’s like being the hero of your very own eco-friendly story.
Zero-Waste Shopping 101: Your Guide to a Green Adventure
Do you want to kickstart your zero-waste shopping journey? Here are a few tips to help you along the ride:
1. Remember Your Containers
When you enter a zero-waste or package-free shop, bring your trusty reusable bags, jars, and containers. They’re like your eco sidekicks!
After unloading them at home, you can store them in your car so you don’t forget to bring them along on your shopping spree.
2. Plan Your Shopping List
Plan your shopping list before heading to the zero-waste store. Think about the products you need and write them down. By having a plan, you avoid impulse buys and focus on what matters most: reducing waste and saving the Earth!
3. Choose Bulk and Loose Products
Look out for bulk and loose products. From grains and cereals to nuts and spices, these little wonders are your plastic-free superheroes. Scoop them into your containers, and you’ll be feeling zero-waste proud!
4. Explore Sustainable Swaps
Plastic-free products in the US are becoming more popular than ever! Keep an eye out for items like shampoo bars, bamboo toothbrushes, and reusable beeswax wraps that have the same efficiency as their conventional counterparts but are far better for the environment.
5. Follow the “Four R’s”
Remember the “Four R’s” to ace your zero-waste shopping adventure: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
Refuse single-use plastics, reduce waste by buying only what you need, reuse your containers, and recycle whenever possible. Together, they form a powerful green mantra!
6. Educate and Inspire
As you become a zero-waste hero, share your wisdom with friends and family. Inspire them to join you on this epic journey towards a greener planet. Together, we can create a movement transforming the world, one plastic-free purchase at a time.
7. Celebrate Small Steps
Remember, every little action counts. Celebrate your small victories and progress in the zero-waste world. You’re making a difference with every visit to the zero-waste store. Each plastic-free purchase brings us closer to a brighter and cleaner future!
The Zero-Waste Shopping Adventure Awaits!
With every purchase at a plastic-free shop, you’re making a real difference for our planet. Embrace the journey to a zero-waste lifestyle, celebrating each green victory along the way.
Join the Swiss Impact Store tribe to dive deeper into sustainability and connect with a community of like-minded individuals. Together, let’s create a world free from plastic pollution and overflowing landfills.
Explore the treasure trove of earth-loving products and resources, and let your green spirit shine bright.
The zero-waste adventure is calling you – are you ready to answer? Together, we’ll build a sustainable tomorrow for generations to come.
Making Sustainable Lifestyle Transformation Easy
SiS is more than a simple e-commerce platform. Our mission is to encourage, help, and inspire people to look for sustainable sourcing, reduce production waste, carbon footprint, and make conscious choices.
So all that’s left for you is to shop with peace of mind.