This week we’re continuing on with our mission to help our community live a more eco-conscious life and to ditch the single use plastic once and for all! More than ever now, these amazing little plastic free shops are popping up in towns and cities so that people like us can shop consciously, without wreaking more damage on the planet. Of course, we’re not able to list them all in this post- but we’ll try to highlight as many as we can, and give you the tools to seek them out for yourself too. Zero Waste shops are the future- and they’re going to protect that future too. Here are our top three little tips to make the most out of zero waste shops.
Research and use resources for listings
One of the best ways to find local zero waste shops is to simply do your research. A quick search on Google or Facebook will bring up a few, and there are plenty of sites out there that list their favourites too. We love Hip and Healthy’s list of 13 top zero waste stores in the UK– and using this resource we’ve discovered a few favourite shops too!
The Plastic Free Pantry has an amazing resource called The Ultimate Guide to Plastic Free and Zero Waste Shops in the UK, and if you check out this guide on The Zero Waster, you’ll find lots of links to other articles that details how to go zero waste, and how to reduce your plastic use too. Really helpful stuff! Lastly, searching on Facebook is always a really great way to connect with likeminded shop owners and customers, and often you’ll find zero waste shops are closer to you than you thought. Search ‘Zero Waste Shops…’ and your location and connect with the small businesses that matter to you. Engage, visit. Help them to grow, share their pages with your friends and use them so that they can thrive and carry on fighting against landfill and waste.
So we’re not going to sugar coat it. Shopping zero waste is nowhere near as easy as it is to pop to your local supermarket, fill your trolley with the essentials for the week and get home again in time for dinner. There is a lot more preparation involved when you shop zero waste- but as with anything, if its worth doing then it’s worth doing properly. So being prepared is essential if this is a change that you’re going to stick to in the long term. And if you commit to this, your local zero waste ship is going to benefit from your custom- and that means they’re more likely to thrive as a business and stick around to help educate the next generation of shoppers too. Here are three handy tips to help make sure you’re ready for your zero waste shop:
- Bring your own bags. Paper bags, canvas bags, even plastic bags that you’re re-using. Bring containers. Jars, tubs, empty bottles and empty egg cartons. Bring as many containers as you know you’re going to fill, leading on to our next tip…
- Make a shopping list. If you’ve done your research you’ll know that the shop you’re visiting sells the items you need, so you can make a list and bring along the containers that you need.
- Be prepared to make more than one visit to more than one shop. Zero waste shopping may take longer. Sorry. But it’s worth it! You may need to visit more than one shop to get everything you need but again, if you’ve done your research you can make sure you shop on a day where you have enough time for this.
Create your own Zero Waste Shop!
Sometimes we just have to bite the bullet and create where there is none. This is one of the principles that Little Soap is built on- the lack of natural soap, accessible to all, was so painfully obvious that there seemed no other option than to create it from scratch! And this may be what you need to do too, if you’re so inclined!
Ok, so opening your own shop is no small thing. But there may be one or two among you that feels a spark when they read this, so here goes. Owning your own business can be one of the most rewarding experiences, and creating that business from a passion is unlike anything else. Without creative minds, determined business owners and those with a vision, zero waste shops wouldn’t exist at all- and if there’s a gap in your local market that you think you can fill, then why not?
Earth, Food, Love, the Zero Waste Shop has an amazing guide for potential zero waste shop owners that you really should check out. This was created after they were inundated on questions and requests for tips and advice on how to set up a zero waste shop. Unpackaged runs a Zero Waste Retail group workshop in London and Bulk Market has some really great advice in this post too.
If you’re serious about opening your own zero waste shop, then your research is more important than ever. Connect with local traders, check out as many zero waste shops as you can. Immerse yourself in the world of zero waste. Live it, breath it. Articles like this one from Thoroughly Modern Grandma are great to give a little more insight into the reasons behind setting up a zero waste shop. Talk to current zero waste shop owners, talk to your local community. If you think it will work, get professional advice and why not live your dream?