#5For5: Steps to Zero Waste Living

Having recently discovered the brilliant concept of zero waste stores, I am becoming more environmentally friendly literally every day! Living ‘zero waste’ can be accomplished in all sorts of ways, taking one small step at a time. Customers bring their own containers, jars, bags, etc. from home and fill them up with the goods they need. This greatly reduces the amount of waste from unneeded packaging that is often thrown out after one use. There are many of these locations popping up in Vancouver. Check out these Five in BC and you will be covered from groceries to soap to pet supplies.

The Soap Dispensary

As Vancouver’s first refill store, The Soap Dispensary knows zero waste. They specialize in carrying premium soaps, household cleaners, personal care products, DIY ingredients and fine edibles. The full service refill bar is packed with all kinds of products that have the lowest impact on the environment. Most products are made with natural materials and are vegan, organic or fair-trade certified whenever possible. This is a great place to stock up on local products.


Basic Refill

This is (so far) the only zero waste store in downtown, located on Hornby and Beach. This cute little shop stocks home cleaning products that are biodegradable, non-toxic and chemical-free. You can also find cosmetics, pet supplies and baby products for your refillable containers. Most products are proudly Canadian and produced by local family-owned businesses across the provinces. If you are pressed for time you can also try the drop-off service. Leave your containers with a refill list and pick them up at your convenience.


Sweet Cherubim

Another gem of the ever so exciting Commercial Drive is the organic, natural food store, Sweet Cherubim. The store has an amazing bulk and herb section to fill all your containers to the brim. Since they cater to plant-based eaters, you can find many local delicious treats that are free of dairy, eggs and animal products. There is also an attached restaurant that features must-try curry and other delicious vegan treats.

Zero Waste Market

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Zero Waste Market Pop-up in Vancouver | @zerowastemarket

The Zero Waste Market is in the works and is expected to open in Vancouver very soon. They have been testing the market out with pop-ups around the city and have been very successful thus far. Creator, Marine Biologist Brianne Miller discovered that most of the problems in the ocean stem from our food system. Waste and debris that damage the waters are usually from unwanted plastics or packaging. So she decided the best way to face this issue was by creating her own zero waste store right here in Vancouver. The market will carry ethically sourced, local and natural whole foods. Watch their website and their social media pages for the next pop-up!


Green Zero Waste Grocery

If you ever fancy taking a trip to the beautiful and quaint Salt Spring Island, you must stop into Green. They provide zero waste, locally sourced, natural products at fair market price. Not only are you contributing to the zero waste movement by taking home the fresh product in your own containers, but the grocery store is also 100% dedicated to sustainability. All refuse is recycled, repurposed, regenerated, or composted.


There are so many ways that we can reduce our carbon footprint as individuals. I always make sure to bring my own reusable bags for my grocery shops, but I am excited to support places that are dedicated to providing great product in a sustainable way for all my needs. It is truly wonderful to know that there are places like these helping the earth and contributing to reducing the amount of harmful plastics and waste that end up in landfill and our oceans.

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