WasteLess: packaging-free grocery store in Stockholm

Saturday, 15 April 2017

As you know I care a lot for the environment. That's the second biggest reason for why I went vegan (first reason being the fact that I don't want animals to suffer). The planet is our only home, which we are destroying. We need to re-think our way of living and find ways to have a more sustainable lifestyle.

That's why I got super excited when WasteLess reached out to me! A packaging-free, Zero Waste, organic grocery store, coming to Stockholm this summer! The goal of WasteLess is to make people re-think their shopping habits and provide a more environmentally friendly alternative to conventional food shopping. Everything will be sold packaging-free by weight. This means you can avoid wasteful plastic packaging! This is exactly the kind of grocery stores that Sweden needs in my opinion. It's hard to avoid plastic packaging in grocery stores here. It would make such a different to skip all packaging.

//  Som ni vet så tycker jag det är otroligt viktigt att bry sig om miljön. Det var den näststörsta anledningen till varför jag blev vegan (första anledningen var att jag inte vill att djur ska lida). Den här planeten är vårt enda hem, och vi förstör den. Vi måste tänka om vårt sätt att leva och hitta nya sätt till en mer hållbar livsstil. 

Därför blev jag så glad när WasteLess hörde av sig! En förpackningsfri, Zero Waste, ekologisk matbutik som kommer till Stockholm i sommar! Målet med WasteLess är att få folk att tänka om när det kommer till deras shoppingvanor och ge de ett mer miljövänligt alternativ när det kommer till shoppingen vi gör i matbutiker. Alla produkter kommer vara förpackningsfria och säljas per vikt. Detta innebär att man kan undvika onödiga plastförpackningar! Det här är precis vad vi behöver i Sverige enligt mig. Det är svårt att undvika plastförpackningar i mataffärer här. Det skulle göra stor skillnad att skippa alla förpackningar. 

I got to talk with one of the founders, Naomi, and asked her some questions.

//  Jag pratade med en av grundarna, Naomi, och ställde lite frågor (som jag bara publicerar på engelska, hoppas det är okej).

How and why did you start WasteLess?
I had been interested in the idea of a Zero Waste lifestyle for a few years, but it wasn’t until we moved into our own place that I really thought of it as a possibility!  I started researching and reading more about Zero Waste again, and became more and more passionate about reducing my environmental impact. 

We have been able to implement a lot of waste-reducing strategies, but the amount of packaging that food in Sweden is sold in was a huge source of frustration, and the area of our lives generating the most waste.

I was shocked to learn that there wasn’t already a packaging-free shop in Stockholm, seeing as it is such a growing trend around the world, and Sweden has a reputation for being ahead of the curve! I suggested to my boyfriend Matt, half joking, that we should open Stockholm’s first bulk store. Once the idea had started to stick, we knew we had to go for it, even if it was (is!) scary!

Where will the store be located?
We are still on the searching for the best premises.  We are concentrating our search on Södermalm, which just seems the natural fit for WasteLess, with it’s reputation for being a forward-thinking place!  Public transport is great, you can access it via bus, tunnelbana, pendeltåg, and boat, making it easy to reach even if you don’t live locally!

However, we are only 2 pairs of eyes on the look-out, so if anyone knows of anything they think would suit us well, please let us know!

What price range will you have?
Our prices will be comparable with the established organic brands you can find in the supermarket.  However, the cost of packaging is usually a factor in these prices, so by eliminating individual packaging, and buying in as large a quantity as we can, we can pass these savings on to you!

Will you be selling organic products? 
Our aim is to be 100% organic. We hope that this will be possible from the start, but if not then it is a goal we will be constantly working towards!

We don’t want to be contributing to pesticide use thereby harming the natural ecology and negatively impacting the health of those who grow our food via their exposure to these chemicals. 

What is your top tips for people who want to start living a Zero Waste lifestyle?
It is about progress not perfection as they say! Do what you can do until you can do better! Take a look in your recycling and waste bin to see where most of your rubbish is coming from, and then think about how you can take steps to reduce that.

Even simple changes like using a reusable water bottle, bringing your own lunch to work, refusing straws and napkins with your drinks all add up!  

The favourite changes I’ve made so far would probably be using a menstrual cup, using washable cloths instead of paper towels, and making my own kitchen staples from scratch – diy peanut butter is next level delicious!

There are 5 R’s of the Zero Waste lifestyle, which help to focus your efforts: Refuse (what you don’t need – i.e. disposable plastic cutlery); Reduce what you do need (do you really need 10 bottles of cleaning products? Or will some vinegar and some bicarbonate of soda do?); Reuse what you have instead of buying new (turn that old jam jar into food storage); Recycle – which should be a last resort not the first call; and Rot the rest – i.e. compost your food scraps!

Naomi and Matt, founders of WasteLess

I'm so excited for the opening, and of course I'm going to be there to give you guys a preview of the store! In the mean time – check out WasteLess on Facebook and Instagram to find out more.

I hope you're all having a great weekend. Happy Easter!

//  Jag är ska bli så roligt med öppningen, och självklart kommer jag vara där och ge er en förhandsvisning av affären! Tills dess – kolla in WasteLess på Facebook och Instagram om du vill veta mer. 

Hoppas ni alla har en fin helg. Glad påsk!

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