Looking for reliable and trustworthy zero-waste shops?
Well, we have great news for you!
Whether you prefer to shop in-store or from the comfort of your computer, there’s an online or offline zero-waste shop out there to suit your needs.
Which is why we reviewed 9 top zero-waste shops so that you can shop with complete peace of mind.
Let’s talk about HOW to shop zero waste the right way.
- 1 How to shop like a pro and Become A Zero-Waste Consumer
- 2 Top 4 Online Zero-Waste Shops
- 3 Top 5 Offline Zero-Waste Shops
- 4 Are you ready to go zero-waste?
- 5 In conclusion
How to shop like a pro and Become A Zero-Waste Consumer
Shopping zero waste is easier than you may think. All it takes is a bit of preparation at first and then you can let it work within your routine and lifestyle.
- Buy a few reusable shopping bags. These can be made from cotton, hemp, or even recycled plastic bags. Look out for special produce bags. These are lightweight re-usable netted bags used for fruit and vegetables if you have to weigh them in-store.
- Choose to have your online order delivered without plastic bags and additional packaging. Or choose products that don’t come in plastic packaging at all. Some supermarkets have completely removed single-use plastic bags from online grocery orders. Shout-out to Asda and Tesco in the UK for leading the way!
- Store your shopping bags where you will need them like in the car, folded in your handbag or laptop bag. It’s no use buying a few pretty reusable cotton bags, only to leave them behind every time you go shopping!
- Check the finer details. Choose items without tags, strings, or labels.
- Reuse glass jars and take them with. Use coffee jars, mayonnaise pots or pickle jars to refill at a zero-waste shop.
- Get a few bins or crates to store your groceries on the way home.
- Create a zero-waste shopping kit with a good supply of re-usable shopping bags so you’re always prepared for an unexpected trip to the shop. You can even keep one at work.
- Choose a zero-waste store that understands your needs so that you can shop comfortably and guilt-free.
- Buy enough or in bulk so that you don’t have to travel to the shops too often. Don’t make regular small orders online if the items are delivered by road over a distance as this could lead to a high carbon-footprint which will contradict your zero-waste shopping efforts.
Ready to start your journey as a zero-waste consumer?
Unlike packing a few shopping bags for your next trip to the shops, taking a bigger step and evaluating your lifestyle takes courage!
You’ll have to take a good hard look at your trash, really, just look at what you are throwing away on a daily basis and decide if you can do without those things.
Convenience meals are usually the first to go. Start buying fresh and cooking fresh. Your body will thank you. Meal prep will help you get into the swing of things with a regular cooking routine.
Use less. Buy fewer, higher quality clothing items that will last you longer and replace items as they run out – this will help you ease into it.
Another point people often overlook when choosing a zero-waste lifestyle is this: the support and buy-in of everyone in the household. You have to take your family on the journey with you, but you can always start with leading by example!
Here’s our mini-resource pack:
Zero Waste Meal Planning: a really helpful “level-by-level” guide to meal prepping for a zero-waste lifestyle.
Guide to Ethical Clothing Brands: our guide to top affordable ethical clothing brands.
What to Compost: Everything You Need to Know: going zero-waste doesn’t always mean eliminating all waste. Here’s what you can do with those unavoidable things like cardboard boxes, coffee grounds, paper, etc.
10 Creative Ways to be Zero Waste with Kids: Remember our point about taking the whole family with you on the zero-waste journey? This excellent article makes it easy to manage with kids.
Top 4 Online Zero-Waste Shops
Zerovana is a small family-owned online zero-waste store operating out of Dallas, Texas by a young couple and their adorable pup. They offer an incredibly wide selection of goods such as shopping totes, kitchen and dinnerware, bath and beauty products, eco-friendly cleaning solutions, and even stationery.
Bonus: They sell fabulous zero-waste kits and gift sets with re-usable shopping bags, jars, beeswax food wraps and other grocery shopping bags.
Location: Dallas, Texas. United States
New moms will love Wild Minimalist. While their extensive range covers plastic-free kitchen, bath, and beauty products, their mama & child range is what stood out for us.
Baby products in general are full of plastics, microfibres, and unnecessary chemicals. Which is why it’s so helpful to find a good source of eco-friendly products from a trusted zero-waste store. The baby range includes stainless steel bottles, bamboo utensils, diaper salves, sanitary products and other items.
Bonus: They also sell gift cards to the value of between $25 – $200.
Location: San Anselmo, California. United States.
WasteNot is an UK zero-waste shop with a big focus on helping others to reduce their plastic-usage.
The founding couple, Will and Caitlin, were so taken aback by the mount of plastic waste they were part of creating, that they started to go plastic-free. After struggling to source good alternatives to plastic, they decided to start their own shop.
Their catalogue features tasteful bathroom, beauty, dental care, household, and sanitary products.
We liked their dental care range which includes a plastic-free vegan dental floss made from bamboo charcoal fibre!
Bonus: Their blog is a great source of zero-waste tips and advice.
Location: North London, England. United Kingdom
“We encourage you to buy less but we want you to buy better” – what a perfect way to sum up what they’re all about.
The Kind Store is quite possibly one of the most responsible and trustworthy zero-waste shops out there because each product in their online store is tried and tested by them.
Their range is classified into collections such as Vegan, Plastic-Free, Organic, Fair Trade, Compostable, Zero Waste, and others.
Bonus: You have to try their small, but amazing collection of vegan snacks and treats such as cacao nibs, dark chocolate, and Matcha Powder.
Location: Essex, England. United Kingdom.
Some 18 billion pounds of plastic waste flows into the oceans every year from coastal regions.National Geographic: Facts About Plastic Pollution
Top 5 Offline Zero-Waste Shops
This vegan zero-waste shop believes in “Planet and Purpose before profit” and we think that’s a great outlook and quite a brave one, too!
At Hetu, you can pretty much do all your essential grocery shopping in one place. Customers bring in their own bags and jars and fill them with the ingredients they need.
Their product range is extensive, but you can find almost anything here such as: herbs and spices, beans, seeds, beauty products, personal hygiene as well as a good selection of teas.
Bonus: Their product list is available to download so you can plan your shopping in advance and make sure you have the right items in your zero-waste kit for a trip to Hetu.
Location: London, England. United Kingdom.
Sea No Waste is a zero-waste store in Arbroath with a delightful range of pantry staples such as pasta, grains, cereals, herbs & spices, dried fruit, and nuts.
Customers can bring in their own jars or bags and simply refill them with as much as they need in a guilt-free, plastic-free space.
Bonus: We LOVE their Who Gives a Crap Toilet Paper: a toilet paper made from 100% recycled paper and is ink, dye and scent-free. 50% of profits on this quirky toilet paper go towards improving sanitation in developing countries.
Location: Angus, Scotland. United Kingdom.
We simply adore the travel items at The Waste Less Shop! They stock everything an eco-conscious traveller would appreciate such as stainless steel travel mugs, cotton totes, soap tins and reusable cutlery sets.
You should definitely pay this shop a visit for their bulk refillable household cleaning products which you can simply fill up in an old bottle.
Bonus: Their self-care kit is one of the best we’ve seen and makes a fantastic gift for an eco-conscious partner or as way to introduce someone to the plastic-free lifestyle.
Location: Manhattan Beach, California. United States.
You really don’t need to shop at a large chain supermarket if you live close to Roots Zero-Waste Market because they have everything you need at this friendly neighbourhood grocery store.
They’re perfectly suited for bulk buying, in fact, it’s what they’re known for. Customers can bring their own bags and containers and fill up on grains, cereals, household products, and much more.
They are not exclusively vegan like many stores on this list, so you will see locally sourced eggs, dairy and meat products here.
Bonus: their café offers freshly roasted coffee, sodas, wine, and beer so you can sip while you shop!
Location: Garden City, Idaho. United States.
This is a full plastic-free zero-waste grocery store! One can quite easily shop for everything from staples to luxurious and everything in between.
The shop is family-run, with a team of nutrition specialists who provide input into strategy and meal planning.
The product range at The Source Bulk Foods includes everyday groceries such as beans, pulses, cereals, pastas, baking ingredients, fruits, and nuts
Bonus: Their products are listed on the website with full nutritional information, storage instructions, and cooking methods – making it an excellence resource!
Location: London, England. United Kingdom.
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.”Jane Goodall
Are you ready to go zero-waste?
You will know when you’re ready to go zero-waste when you notice these things:
- You begin to notice the plastic. Everywhere.
- You realise how much daily plastic waste you accumulate from doing very little.
- Packaging on fresh produce just looks unnecessary.
- You’re regularly carrying a few groceries in-hand instead of saying yes to yet another plastic bag at the grocery store.
- You start opting for items with recyclable packaging, or no packaging at all.
- Disposable coffee cups and bottled water start to look like waste, to you.
- You start searching online for zero-waste shops near you.
- You’ve been nodding to yourself all the way down this list.
- Congrats! You’re absolutely hooked on zero-waste shopping! Pay a visit to one of the offline stores we mentioned above, or place a regular order on one of the online stores instead.
Into zero-waste cooking? You might enjoy our Zero Waste Cooking Guide.
Zero-waste shops are growing in their diversity and are entering mainstream society, so expect more of these shops to pop up with even more accessible options.
When it comes to choosing where to shop from, it really boils down to personal choice. Think about your own routine, shopping habits, and willingness to experiment (this is important if you want to discover new zero-waste shops).
And most importantly, don’t be afraid to try a new zero-waste store, who knows, you might discover the perfect place for you.
To end off this guide, we’ll leave you with our favourites:
- Wild Minimalist for the excellent Mama & Baby range.
- The Kind Store for testing every product before putting it “on the shelf”.
- The Source Bulk Foods for their accessible and wide variety of groceries.
10 steps for a ‘zero waste’ shopping routine: https://www.treehugger.com/green-home/10-steps-zero-waste-shopping-routine.html
Zero Waste Grocery Guide: https://www.litterless.com/wheretoshop
These are the top zero waste grocery stores in London: https://pebblemag.com/magazine/living/top-zero-waste-grocery-stores-in-london
5 Zero waste shops for all your plastic free needs: https://www.goingzerowaste.com/blog/3-zero-waste-shops-for-all-your-plastic-free-needs