Have you gone grocery shopping and got upset that there were so much unnecessary packaging, even when you’re buying fruits and veggies? Plastic waste is a big deal. Just look at how microplastics have ended up in the sea salt we eat.
Do you shop sustainably?
As a shopper, you might bring a reusable bag to carry home your ingredients of the week. But did you also end up using a few of those single-use produce bags? And don’t even get us started on the shipping packaging, like apple boxes and the basket-weave foam that protects fruit individually!
Thank goodness the zero waste lifestyle popularized in Europe has made its way to Vancouver. In and around the Metro Vancouver area, we’re lucky to have refillable stores (The Soap Dispensary, Balance Botanicals, and one of our retail partners in Squamish, Local Goods Company).
Shop Zero Waste for (Almost) Everything
However, it isn’t until now that there’s been a full-service package-free grocery store! NADA has opened this summer in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. You can bring your own containers and bags and be stress-free while shopping package-free. What’s different about NADA is that it sells not only dried bulk foods like the other stores do, there’s also produce, kombucha on tap, liquid soaps, baked goods, dairy-free ice cream in reusable jars, and more.
Notable Package-Free Items
The 2,332 square foot store offers some cool items that might be harder to find at regular grocery stores include metal straws and cleaners. You can even buy eggs individually, which is amazing because we love this ‘buy what you need’ mentality. And of course, we’re excited that NADA is stocking a variety of Left Coast Naturals bulk items (including almonds, savoury trail clusters, dried fruit, and more)!
How to Shop Package-Free
Brianne Miller, founder and COO, has even designed a system that weighs containers using a digital scale and produces a reusable tag. That way, you don’t have to re-weigh your container each time you shop. But if you don’t have containers handy, you can buy from a wide selection of reusable metal containers. Or choose from a stack that have been sanitized. If anyone’s wondering about the cleanliness of these reused containers, fear not. NADA has a huge industrial dishwasher that handles all the cleaning. And true to zero waste living form, you’ll receive a receipt at the end of your shopping trip, just not a physical one.
Future of Zero Waste
We’re so proud that Left Coast organic goods are selling at a sustainable retail concept like NADA. We hope more people experience this eco-friendly way of shopping for food, and that it’ll spread across Canada. We have a good feeling it’s going to happen sooner than later. As told to the New York Times, Brianne said, “It just shows how much people want to buy their food this way.”
Photos by Dean Villaceran unless otherwise noted.