I Found All the Best Zero Waste Stores in Toronto So You Don’t Have To

If you've been on the internet in the last year, you've probably heard the term “zero waste.”

The zero waste lifestyle has been notably promoted by YouTuber, blogger and entrepreneur Lauren Singer, who is best known for having four years worth of trash fit into a mason jar. Since Lauren’s viral videos have circulated the internet, several companies (the largest being Starbucks) have taken action to limit damaging waste like plastic straws from continuing to circulate.

In a sense, there's been somewhat of a waste revolution. People are opting to find alternatives to single use plastic conveniences.

Maybe you've even started bringing your own cup to Starbucks and carrying a reusable straw ,and now you want to swap to other waste free options. But where should you start?

Singer had the same question, which is why she opened her very own zero waste store in New York City. But let’s be real if you're not in NYC it can be a little more time consuming to scour Toronto for zero waste stores. Which is why after months of researching and shopping I have finally compiled the ultimate list of zero waste stores, or stores with zero waste products in Toronto!

  1. 1. Urban Bulk Emporium, 1380 Queen Street East

    Bulk Barn is great and all, but Urban Bulk offers a wider range of organic and vegan products, like vegan gummies! Additionally, you can also find things like eco friendly laundry detergent and cleaning supplies! I highly recommend checking it out if you're in Leslieville. 

  2. 2. Evergreen Brickworks Farmers Market, Saturdays 8:00 a.m. till 2:00 p.m

    Evergreen Brickworks is an eco warriors dream! Nestled in the Don Valley and curved around wildlife, the atmosphere is absolutely wonderful.

    Their gift shop and greenery sells reusable cups, straws and other zero waste items, but their weekly farmers market is a dream come true. A majority of vendors will sell produce to you with zero to little packing (it's usually biodegradable). They even offer special deals if you bring our own bags!

    Most notably Chocolate Sol, a fair trade vegan, nut free vendor, offers three bars of dark chocolate for $20. The taste is definitely worth the price point! For you non vegan friends there are cheese and meat vendors galore, a gluten free bakery and heartwarming mini food court. The Tibetan momo dumplings are a must if you stay for lunch, trust me.

    Also make sure to stop by Turtle Wellness’ Booth as they sell homemade beeswax wrap and reusable cotton wipes for all your cosmetic and food wrapping needs.

     

  3. 3. Sonic Boom, 215 Spadina Avenue

    This one came as quite the surprise! If you need to grab records and zero waste supplies, Sonic Boom carries beeswax wrap, reusable utensils, straws, cups, shopping bags and mesh produce bags. It's also only a 15 minute bus ride from Ryerson University’s campus for all you busy students.

  4. 4. Black Market Clothing, 256 Queen Street West

    I bet you thought I forgot fashion! Well you're right, I kind of did.

    Eating and cosmetic usage aren't the only habits where we can reduce consumption, considering the fashion industry is the second largest contributor to pollution.

    That top at H&M might only be $5 but realistically how long will it last? Black Market is an affordable thrifting option that's definitely a lot more size inclusive than other trendy thrift stores in the fashion district, and everything is literally $10 or under. It's an affordable swap that won't hurt your wallet or contribute to further environmental damage and fear not they have super trendy cute clothes and accessories!

  5. 5. LUSH Cosmetics, Multiple locations

    There are very few cosmetic companies that go choose to use renewable resources and use as little waste as possible and Lush is one of them. Whether you're looking for shampoo bars, bar soap, skincare, bath goodies and even makeup, Lush has a packaging free, or ‘naked’ as they like to say, option!

    All of their packaging is biodegradable, compostable, or recyclable, right down to the packing peanuts and soap wrap! If you're still unsure about trying new products they offer free samples.

  6. 6. Blue Banana Market, 250 Augusta Avenue

    If you're ever wandering around Kensington Market, I highly suggest popping into Blue Banana Market. You’ll find the lovechild of cheesy gift stores meets oddity flea market in this unusual indoor bazaar.

    There is everything from gag gum, to Frida Kahlo prayer candles, to, you guessed it, zero waste items including beeswax wrap, Tupperware, reusable utensils, straws, coffee cups and more.

So there you have it! The ultimate list of zero waste stores in Toronto that I've personally found. If you have any suggestions for other hidden gems, tweet us @hcryerson!