Food Waste zero packaging blueberries

Published on July 1st, 2011 | by Becky Striepe

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Austin, Texas to Get New Zero Waste Grocery Store






Austin zero packaging grocery store

Austin residents will soon be able to pick up their groceries at a zero waste grocery store set to open this fall.

In.gredients is focusing on stocking local, organic dry goods and produce without the ubiquitous plastic packaging. They’re aiming to be “the first package-free and zero waste grocery store in the United States,” and if all goes according to plan, they’ll open their doors in the fall.

Check out their awesome launch video:

Easy peasy! Of course, just like the mindset of bringing your own grocery bag, bringing packaging for your bulk items is going to require a little bit of forethought which might be tricky for shoppers at first. Remember when you first switched to reusable grocery bags and would constantly forget them at home?

On top of focusing on reducing food waste, they’re planning to stock local, organic produce. You can learn more about In.gredients on the store’s website.

Not in Austin? Ways You Can Go Zero Waste

Of course, for those of us who don’t live in the Austin area, it’s a little bit trickier to go zero waste. Your local natural foods store or co-op will often let you bring your own containers for bulk items. Just make sure they weigh them for you before you fill them up, so they can subtract that weight. You want to pay for the quinoa, not the glass jar you brought to store it!

If you’re shy about asking them to pre-weigh, you might look into a reusable produce bag, like these from Kootsac. They’re designed to be as light as the disposable sort, so you don’t need to worry about the extra weight. Some larger items, like apples, grapefruit, and broccoli, don’t really need a bag at all. Just toss them in the cart and then into the produce drawer when you get home. Voila! Zero waste.

To read a bit more about pitfalls of food packaging, especially the plastic variety, you might also dig Heather’s adventures when she participated in Plastic-Free February.

What are some other ways that those of us not living in Austin can reduce food packaging and go zero waste at the grocery store?

[h/t: GOOD]

Image Credit: Screenshot from video above.

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



  • http://gleanorganics.com/ christopher

    I’ve started bringing produce bags back to the store too after I saw someone else do it. I’ve found that any store will let you use your own bags (even paper lunch bags) for produce and other loose items but remember they can’t tare the container weight like in.gredients so choose light bags or you’re just paying for container!

  • http://getongooglefrontpage.webs.com/ Jason Matthews

    Hopefully this Austin store is a major success and sets the new precedent for zero waste enviro-friendly stores of all kinds across the nation and the world! Go green.

  • Pingback: Package-Free Groceries? – Green Living Ideas

  • http://Web ldavis

    I recently saw some pieces on shows like CNN and the journal with Joan Lunden that were talking about issues and solutions for industrial recycling. This eliminates even having to have the conversation. If they came to LA I’d make it my go to.

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