Today’s Solutions: February 04, 2023
What are zero-waste stores?

Zero-waste or refill stores, specialize in products with no packaging waste and are non-harmful for the environment. A wide variety of foods and household cleaning products can be found at many of these stores, with the hope in the future that mainstream supermarkets will catch onto the Earth saving trend. Even before the pandemic, this philosophy was gaining popularity all over the world. With big businesses feeding their employees in reusable containers and coffee shops banning single-use cups.

Some examples of these innovative businesses and their owners include Aubri Thompson. She created multiple zero-waste companies, such as Re-Up Refill Shop in the Bay Area, Resourcefill in Lafayette, and Fillgood in Berkeley. Providing refills on household goods and personal care products, even ones that are hard to find anywhere else.

Nada is another savvy company that can help reduce waste from your everyday shopping. Based in Vancouver, they pack groceries into up-cycled containers, reusable jars, and compostable bags. The company also delivers orders through Shift Delivery, a free carbon-neutral pedal bike delivery service.

“Nada is focusing all of its efforts on making a big climate impact for the betterment of our collective future by targeting three buckets: impact, community, and supply chain,” said Marketing Director Tom Finkle to The Daily Hive. “We wouldn’t be here without an amazing team and supportive community pushing us to live out our values.

Why are zero-waste stores important?

The United States is the world’s biggest plastic consumer. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, only 8.7 percent of plastic is recycled. Even when we try to recycle, most of us don’t do it right. “We’re trapped in the cycle of ‘wish cycling.’ People feel good about throwing their plastics into the recycling bin and thinking it has a second life,” said Matt Zimbalist, co-owner of Re-Up Refill Shop.

To address climate change and ocean pollution, It is vital we eliminate single-use plastics from our everyday lives. Non-renewable petroleum products are the starting material to create the material, releasing many emissions in the production process.

New legislation is being slowly enforced regarding plastic. For example, California banned single-use shopping bags in 2014 and France made it illegal to use single-use plastics on most fruit and vegetables. While we wait, why not try out your local zero-waste store to help our beautiful Earth. We know it may be difficult to adjust, although it doesn’t have to be a drastic overnight transformation. Just starting in one area of your life, like your hair care products, makes the transition less daunting and a lot more achievable.

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