Zero Green is Bristol’s first zero-waste shop! We opened in March 2018 with the aim of reducing single-use plastic consumption and food wastage, bringing tools and alternatives to traditional grocery shopping. At Zero Green customers can bring their own containers to fill as little or as much as they wish with anything we sell in the shop, from any dried food to fresh plant-based milk, peanut butter, toiletries or all sorts of cleaning products.
Zero Green was founded by Lidia and Stacey, two friends who were having long talks on a personal level about their footprint and how most food comes packed in unnecessary wrapping, especially plastic. They only wanted to have a different choice but could not find any place so they decided to create it themselves…almost literally, as for them it did not make sense to have a brand new/bespoke store, they had family, friends and volunteers giving up their time to help them with the works and fixtures, using second hand and reclaimed materials, all connected to the zero waste ethos and lifestyle that they promote and support.
Zero green is not only a shop, it has become a bit of a community hub and a place where people connect to each other and this has made such a difference in our lives and in the locals. Simple things like our self-service scale system or our ‘Container Library’ have been proven really popular. We started it with a small basket with some of our own containers – they were put there for people to use in the shop for free if they hadn’t brought any of their own, they could then keep them or bring them back for other people to reuse, this has evolved so much and people love it, we get continuous donations with containers that would have gone into recycling but this way they will have many lives before that! As we all know, not everything gets recycled…
Bristol has got very sustainable and green credentials that have definitely helped us on our journey, and it made total sense to us to establish the business here, especially in Bedminster. It has also been very important to us to be an active part of the community and get involved with the local currency (Bristol£), the charity City to Sea, take part in sustainability fairs such as Shark Fest, helped University students on their dissertations and have visits from local schools, being actively connected to the local vegan movement and Extinction Rebellion, also taking part in initiatives like the Waste Nothing Challenge, where 50 families are going Zero waste for a year, tracking their progress.
One of the most common comments we have received is how the shop has evolved and changed in a very short period of time, taking into consideration customers’ feedback and we want to keep it up as it has proven successful. We are moving soon to bigger premises, this will give us the space we need to introduce more lines which will help us keep challenging the bigger supermarkets and traditional shopping areas, making this way of shopping more and more accessible to everyone and maybe becoming the norm? The more demand the more items we could get plastic or package free! This new space will also give us the opportunity to run different workshops on a more permanent basis. A community composter is also in our minds as part of our plans as part of the expansion! Exciting times ahead!
'Lidia and Stacey have a huge passion and enthusiasm for helping people go plastic-free. They have created a friendly and welcoming shop in Bedminster, fitted out with reused materials, that has a huge range of products. They work with their producers to make sure the supply chain is as plastic-free as possible and with customers to make their shopping experience easy and enjoyable by e.g. having reusable containers ready for customers to use. They try to keep prices down on basic products and are always interested in what customers want to see on the shelves. They try to use local producers as much as possible and have even linked up with a local home delivery service. Lidia and Stacey are keen to be part of the community and take part in local events, have a community noticeboard and do school visits. They have linked up with Bristol Waste for their Waste Nothing Campaign and The Eco Period Poverty Box scheme, bringing plastic-free shopping to more people. Zero Green has inspired people across the city (and beyond) to reduce their plastic and make changes to how they shop, and their energy is infectious!’- Ellie Christmas Freeman