A while ago, I watched this video where these two people made a meal with zero waste. In the video, they went to different stores and brought their own containers and had them filled up with the ingredients they needed, instead of using the plastic bags that were available. They lived in Los Angeles, so they had more places they could go to where they could fill up their own containers, but it made me wonder if there were any places like that in Salt Lake City. So I decided to do my research and found some great results. I found, through my amazing Yelp skills and personal interviews, that there are 5 places in Salt Lake City where you can take your own containers and be eco friendly when buying groceries or personal care items. And after having gone to check those places out, I am proud to be able to share these places with you all.
Harmons is a great grocery store for any of your grocery needs. They have all kinds of unique foods and drinks, and many of them are local. And, depending on the location you go to, they have plenty of ways to be eco friendly. For example, the downtown Harmons has tons of bulk foods such as grains, beans, nuts, and even honey and olive oil. You can bring your own container and get it filled up with what you want and bring it back when you’re done and refill it instead of wasting plastic! Also many of the Harmons have cheese sections where you can get blocks of cheese cut personally for you and if you bring beeswax wrap you won’t need to waste any paper or plastic.
Winco has one of the largest supplies of bulk foods I have ever seen. They have basically everything you can think of, and even some things you may not have thought of. I found powdered cheese in bulk when I went there — who would have thought that could be an option?! If you are looking for a wider range of bulk supplies this is definitely the place to go.
- Hello!Bulk Markets
This grocery store was the one I was the most excited to check out, and it comes down to where the products come from. Everything in Hello!Bulk Markets is from local vendors, from their yogurt to their hygiene products. Things like maple syrup and olive oil can be bought in bulk, too! They also emphasize how none of their products can be bought with plastic bags they provide. In fact, you have to bring your own containers to fill them up, and if you don’t have any you can buy some from them. They even provide reusable bags and utensils that you can buy. Their store is small for now, but they are hoping to expand in the future and I am looking forward to seeing what they will bring!
My family is a huge fan of Sprouts. We go basically every week, even if we don’t need to. This means I am no stranger to their eco friendly ways. They have a really nice bulk section filled with nuts, grains, dried fruit, and much more. You fill up a bag–or in this case a reusable container–with whatever you want and weigh it. They also have a pastry section where you can choose out your own pastries from, which means if you bring a reusable container to hold them, you won’t have to wrap them in paper or plastic.
So Animalia isn’t really a grocery store, but I am mentioning it because they also provide bulk goods, just in a different way. Animalia focuses more on hygiene and personal care, so you can find things like reusable cotton pads or utensil cases which are great to reduce your amount of waste. What they really emphasize though is their bulk refill dispensary. Basically it is a section of their store filled with beauty, skincare, and hair care needs. They have things like toners, dried shampoo, soap, deodorant, and even laundry pods. You can bring your own containers, or buy one of their own, and fill it up with whatever bodycare products you need. Plus, almost all of these goods are locally made and are created by small businesses.
People today are arguably very concerned about being eco friendly, and have a passion for doing what they can to help the earth. Having grocery stores that can help us do so is an amazing thing to utilize. I personally really enjoyed each of the stores on this list, and the smaller ones that focused more on local vendors had a nice atmosphere around them that made me feel like a part of their business. It felt like I was helping out in two ways, by helping the earth and supporting local businesses. These stores are definitely worth checking out, and seeing what different grocery stores have to offer!