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How To Shop Zero Waste

A useful little guide if you're visiting us for the first time.


Earthian Zero Waste Shop opened doors on Parchment Street for the first time on Wednesday 23 September. I have been so amazed by the warm welcome and positivity that has come since then. Thank you so much to everyone who has come to visit, bringing jars and bottles or just finding out what we're all about.

I wanted to put together a little blog to talk through the shop and what makes it a unique way of shopping for your everyday essentials. It may seem a bit daunting at first, especially if you're new to sustainability or plastic-free living but I promise it is easy-peasy and surprisingly a lot cheaper to shop without packaging.


Let's start in the most exciting part of the shop, the bit with all the food! At Earthian I stock mostly organic food, which has been sourced carefully so that it comes into the shop with as little plastic as possible in the packaging. This area will develop over time and I hope that you will help me with recommendations of stock you'd like to see filling the gaps.

Bulk food containers, 2020.

For now, the range includes:

  • Oats (Jumbo, Jumbo Gluten Free and Rolled)

  • Cereals (Muesli, Bran Flakes and Millet Flakes)

  • Pulses (Red Lentils, Green Lentils)

  • Beans (Kidney Beans, Butter Beans and Chickpeas)

  • Pasta (Wholewheat, White, Gluten Free and Orzo)

  • Grains (Cous Cous, Quinoa and Pearl Barley)

  • Seeds (Linseeds, Pumpkin and Sunflower)

  • Nuts (Peanuts, Almonds, Cashews and Walnuts)

  • Dried Fruit (Apricots, Dates, Banana Chips, Prunes and Raisins)

You can bring any container for filling. Please make sure that your containers are empty, clean and dry before you bring them and they must be suitable for the goods you put inside, eg please don't try to fill a mesh bag with cous cous!

When you come into the shop, please bring your containers to the till where they will be weighed while empty. This is called the tare weight and it is important that we know this before you start filling so that you don't pay for the weight of the container and only pay for the weight of your goods.

If you don't have any containers, there are paper bags available. These don't need to be tare weighed, you can just start filling as their weight is so small it doesn't register on the till. There are also funnels for you to use, which will help if you're filling a small or narrow opening container. These funnels and the paper bags can both be found on the top of the shelves to the left of the food.

After you have finished filling up, bring it all to the till and I will reweigh it! There are a couple of rules to remember, these are important both for food hygiene and for the accuracy of pricing goods.

  1. Fill each container with only one food type, please do not mix.

  2. Goods that are dispensed cannot be put back. Please be very careful in dispensing the amount you need.

  3. Please use the scoops, or spoons supplied. Do not use your hands to dispense food.

Herbs, Spices and Coffee

I also have a range of 20 herbs and spices and three coffee blends in both beans and grounds. These do not come from gravity fed dispensers and instead they are in canisters and glass jars. You can bring these to the till and I will weight out a specific amount for you, or you can dispense goods yourself using the spoons and scoops supplied. The easiest way is to take them off the shelf and move to the empty counter top where there is more room.

Liquid refills

All the liquids are sold by weight as well, rather than by volume. Although a lot of containers say the volume they hold, especially if you are reusing a bottle with the old label on still, it is more accurate to dispense the liquids by weight and enables me to accept a wide variety of container and bottle types for the liquids without using a jug to measure.

This means that to dispense liquids into your own bottles, they will need to be weighed empty like with the food. The tare weight will be taken off of the final price and you will only pay for the liquid inside. The range that I currently hold includes:

Liquid Refill Station, 2020.
  • Washing Up Liquid

  • Toilet Cleaner

  • Organic Castile Soap

  • Hand Soap (Sweet Clementine or Fig)

  • All Purpose Cleaner

  • Laundry Liquid and Fabric Conditioner

  • Hard Water Rinse Aid

  • Hair Shampoo and Conditioner

  • Body Wash and Bubble Bath (2 in 1)

  • Hand Sanitiser

  • Anti-Bac Surface Spray

I am in the process of expanding this section. The first additions are White Vinegar, Laundry Washing Powder and Dishwashing Powder which are coming in next week. Watch this space!

I hope that this whistle-stop tour is helpful but I am always on hand if you need any help!

See you in the shop soon!


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