WHAT: To provide a resource for community based bulk shopping
WHERE: We’re telling you what stores are selling what products in bulk
WHEN: We’d like to update each stores bulk item inventory weekly so that you know where to shop for what you need
HOW: This is the issue. We need your help. This is a community driven website, much the same way the navigation app WAZE works. We rely on intel from our users to update current inventory in our supported stores across the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or leave a comment on this site, and let us know when the inventory below is wrong or outdated. We strive to be accurate but we cannot be everywhere at once either….although we are trying.
WHY: Because we have nieces and nephews and we can’t think of a better way to support their future.
Instead of reaching for the prepackaged plastic under the bulk dispensers, grab your reusable bag and fill up on plenty of goodies and snacks! They stock different rice, beans, legumes and seeds, but mostly great for dried fruits, nuts and snacks. They also have nut grinders, so you can bring a jar with the tare weight labeled on it and fill your own peanut butter or almond butter. Have fun with it!!! Try new things and tastes and switch up your snack routine, or find your favorite snack without waste!
All that bread wrapped in plastic or wax paper can be avoided by going to the bakery and asking them what time they have fresh bread, then try to pick it up in your own cloth bag from the counter. Or check the bins, they usually have select breads and rolls in a dispenser at the bakery.
At the Bergen Park King Soopers, there is a freezer section with pre-made frozen meals without plastic or packaging; bring your own tupperware, take the tare weight, and fill it up with fast zero waste dinner!!!!
Great Colorado produce selection as well as eco-friendly products for the entire household. I buy produce and some home goods here, like bamboo toilet paper that comes in recyclable plastic. They also sell soap without packaging and have water refill stations at $0.29 a gallon, which is the best price in town.
Safeway – Evergreen, Co
Don’t bother with the Evergreen Safeway if you’re working towards a zero waste lifestyle. It does not have a bulk foods department and I don’t find the produce to be as fresh as King Soopers or Natural Grocers.
Great bulk section for snacks and granola. They have a good selection of candies, gummies, nuts, seeds, snacks, legumes, and, occassionally, sugar and flour. The bulk location is convenient to the produce section, which makes for faster shopping time.
Natural Grocers is proud of their “bulk” shopping selection but the truth is that most of their items come wrapped in plastic. They do have have a real bulk section. They do have excellent, unpackaged produce that comes seasonally and locally. They also stock many eco-friendly home goods. Check out their toothbrushes, bamboo cooking utensils and clothing. Look for things that are compostable!!! So many options!
I shop here the most. They have an excellent bulk section and great produce located close together. This King Soopers has the most diverse bulk section as well. Here I can find most beans, flours, sugar, seeds, nuts and snacks.
Favorite Zero Waste Products
Shopping zero waste can be tedious and feel impossible, but I like to make it a game and get competitive with myself. Everyday products are available locally and without waste.
When possible, refrain from internet shopping where paper, cardboard, transportation and emissions waste all add up. There are a couple things I’ve ordered online that I couldn’t find locally; however, everything I buy now comes with a consciousness and it weighs heavy on me if I order from Amazon or some other online venue. As you begin ZW, familiarize yourself with your local thrift stores and secondhand stores. Around Denver, we are lucky to have a lot of options and once you start shopping you’ll notice that some have certain goods but not everything you’re looking for. It takes some time and patience to change your lifestyle to ZW, but your consciousness will rest easy once you start eliminating waste. The more waste you get rid of, the more you connect and learn about your community. It narrows your shopping down to smaller businesses closer to you. It’s so important to support your town during the Corona Virus pandemic! TRY IT OUT AND GO ROOM BY ROOM TO ACHIEVE A ZERO WASTE LIFE!
Ok! let’s start with the bathroom because I love my bidet. It cleans everything so well and it comes with waste conscious packaging that I felt good about ordering!! https://hellotushy.com
For everyone in the Denver area check out this zero waste market for a lot of goods without packaging. You can buy anything from Q tips, toothpaste, and deodorant to laundry detergent and dish soap.Bring your own containers or buy some there to refill. https://www.thezeromarket.com
When I need kitchen goods I go to the EAPL or Goodwill in Lakewood or Littleton depending on what side of town I’m on. I like supporting the Evergreen Animal Protection League Thrift Store to support adoption agencies https://eaplthriftshop.com
I shop at clothing consignment shops and resell items I don’t want anymore. I like Plato’s Closet https://platoscloset.com and I love The Clothes Mentor in Littleton https://www.clothesmentor.com There are a bunch of stores similar to this platform in every city. You will be amazed at the awesome brands and quality garments you can find for much less than full retail price!
Here’s a list of links to more thrift stores I frequent:
1. Grocery totes and bulk bags – I love my market tote and I’ve had it more than a year and it’s still holding strong. I found it in Colorado (http://www.thecupboard.net)but you should just find something that you enjoy and that works for you. I sew my own bulk, but I recommend buying some that have holes you can see through and some cloth ones that will hold flour and sugar.
2. Cotton Rags – Now without paper towels, cotton rags are accessible in most rooms of the house. There are zero waste non-paper towel rolls you can purchase at our local zero waste stores or online. You can find a local Etsy artist or just order some you like that are COMPOSTABLE. https://www.etsy.com/market/unpaper_towels
3.Coffee Tumblers and Water Bottles – Find one you like and you’ll want to hold on to. When you find reusable cups you really like, whether its the design, shape or any random thing you’re attracted to and you lose, or forget it somewhere, you will develop a deep sense of urgency to keep the next one. As silly as that sounds, I lost one that I loved and I can’t replace it without going on another expensive vacation. Once I lost that one, I’ve had the utmost respect for all of my other cups and nalgenes to come.Hopefully, you don’t lose your favorite cup, but it’s incentive to hold on to the things you use and love the most. If you find yourself at a coffee shop without your cup, bite the bullet and buy the $3 Starbucks reusable cup. (Yes, they do have cheap reusable cups!) Then keep that one in your car! Water is harder to come by without purchasing a plastic bottle, so support water refill stations in your local community and remember grocery stores and gas stations have water refill stations.
4. The Zero Market – I love this place! I love this place so much I mention it at least twice on this page. Most anything you need and use consistently can be found here and you can use your own container or they have products in smart eco-friendly packaging. Laundry detergent, dish soap, shaving cream, toothpaste, deodorant, and so much more are available without waste!!! Look in your local area for similar small businesses. Zero Waste stores are popping up all over the world!!