Zero Waste Near You is an all-inclusive resource to make a low waste lifestyle as accessible as possible by showing you what is available in your local area.
This idea came from our personal experience of transitioning into a zero waste lifestyle as a result of realising the impact of our throwaway society on the environment. We wanted a map or a list of some kind that showed us what was resources were available to aid us on this journey. Luckily for us, many people have already created their own lists such as Kate Arnell’s Where to buy bulk in London and The Zero Waster’s Local Plastic-Free/Bulk/Unpackaged/Refill/Zero Waste Shops and Projects UK. What was still lacking though, were the local businesses that had always been low-waste friendly such delicatessens and farmer’s markets whose goods only needed to be packaged at the convenience of their customers. Supporting these shops also meant that we as consumers were not limited to what supermarkets could provide us (which usually comes with hefty carbon footprint and a generous amount of plastic packaging). In addition to adding local businesses to this directory, we also encountered many community led projects such Repair Cafes and Community Fridges that serve to minimise waste by helping you to fix a broken item so that it does not get sent to the landfill or to share unwanted food with the local community.
What we’ve added so far
- 14 Supermarkets that feature mostly unpackaged organic & non-organic fruit and veg such as Planet Organic, Wholefoods Market and As Nature Intended.
- 61 Delicatessens where you can buy unpackaged cured meats, antipasti, fresh pasta, bread and cheese (always ask beforehand).
- 85 Greengrocers selling mostly unpackaged fresh fruit and vegetables.
- 14 Cheesemongers where you can ask for your cheese to be put in your own container.
- 5 Clapton Craft outlets offering beer refills
- 14 Borough Wine shops offering wine and olive oil refills
- 47 Farmer’s markets selling mostly organic and seasonal produce grown locally and often without packaging.
- 40 Local street markets that offer budget friendly fruit & veg, usually without packaging.
- 60 Zero waste shops that feature bulk unpackaged dry goods and household refills.
- 65 Zero waste market stalls/delivery locations.
- 18 Local fruit and vegetable box schemes that support small independent farms.
- 52 Farm shops where farms sell their produce directly to the public.
- 44 Health food shops occasionally sell household refills, unpackaged organic fruit & vegetables and bulk dry goods.
- 19 Wholefood shops feature a wider range of mostly unpackaged organic/local/seasonal fruit & vegetables and occasionally household refills and bulk dry goods.
- 37 Brewdog outlets offering beer refills
- 40 shops offering Ecover refills, 15 shops offering Ecoleaf refills and 26 shops offering Bio D refills (household cleaning & laundry)
- 27 shops offering Faith in Nature refills (shampoo & conditioner)
What we’re adding soon
- Expanding each category with more businesses we find as we go along.
- Community Fridges (as part of the Hubbub network) – communal places where surplus food is shared between people in a community, by local businesses and individuals. Find out more about Community Fridges here.
- Repair Cafes – free meeting places and they’re all about repairing things (together). In the place where a Repair Café is located, you’ll find tools and materials to help you make any repairs you need. Find out more about Repair Cafes here.
- Farm shops that stock Field Fare frozen bulk produce.
- Milk vending machines – they’re often open 24/7 which is really handy.
What we can’t add
Local off-licenses that sell unpackaged fruit and veg, simply because there’s just too many of them and it is impossible to try and include them all. There are also many types of off-licenses, some are relative small and offer very little fresh products, some are as big as a Tesco Metro or Sainsbury’s Local offering a wide range of produce (similar to a greengrocers) and some even have bulk bins like Jay’s Budgens or even an Ecover refill station like Arsenal Food & Wine. So it’s advisable to check out your local off-licenses to know what they offer 🙂