Zero Waste Shopping Guide: Alberta

Hey Alberta!

Why would The Eco Hub be producing shopping guides, when the first principle to zero waste is to consume less? By pulling this resource list together, maybe you’ll experiment with alternatives to your regular shopping routine, here is your Zero Waste Shopping Guide: Alberta. 

Zero Waste Shopping Guide Alberta

I hope you enjoy finding out about zero waste products in your area, businesses that accept your re-usable containers, restaurants leading in waste reduction, and recycling initiatives for what you need to let go of.

If you aren’t based in feature cities Edmonton, Calgary or Lethbridge, the “province-wide” section is worth a look. Many zero waste and refillable products are distributed through local businesses throughout the province. 

There are many ways to work towards zero waste, starting with thoughtful consumption and creative use of what you have. Read on, Alberta!

PROVINCE WIDE 

FOOD

Alberta Farmers Market Association – Search by vendor category, or by markets in a certain region.  Some are only reachable by e-mail, so you can transcend the average Google search using this database!

Bulk Barn – As of February 2017, Bulk Barn allows customers to bring their own reusable containers rather than using the plastic bags provided in store. Click here for a list of locations.

CLOTHING

Clothing for a Cause – Clothing recycling opportunity with bins in Calgary and its’ environs. Over half the clothing is sold for re-use, and 46% are upcycled into rags and wiping cloths.

Plato’s Closet – International consignment store with clothing, accessories, footwear, outerwear, exercise wear and menswear. Click here for locations. 

 

Value Village – A popular second-hand retailer with locations in every province; they have pretty frequent sales throughout the year as well as a free “Super Savers Club” membership that entitles you to 20% off on your birthday.

BEAUTY/HEALTH

Rocky Mountain Soap – Refillable soap bottles, shampoo bars, and even a lip quench line that is sold in biodegradable packaging. Storefronts and workshop space are engaging in many waste-reduction initiatives, which you can find out about on their blog. Store Locations

 

Routine Natural Deodorant – A spunky deodorant company toting sumptuous smells like ‘vegan cat lady’; sold in dozens of locations across Alberta. Most exciting: now offers refills in 3 locations- check their FAQ page!

Diva Cup – A reusable menstrual cup that you can find at retailers all over the province. Store Finder

Lush – cult cosmetic company with locations all over Canada; their “5 Pot Program” allows you to return five of their post-consumer recycled plastic containers in store in exchange for a free face mask.

 

HOUSEHOLD GOODS

Sapadilla  A “nice little eco-cleaner” for your home! Sells dish soap, hand soap, all purpose cleaners, laundry liquids and more.  With refill stations across Canada, find one near you here

Habitat for Humanity ReStore – Each ReStore is different, selling used and surplus furnishings and building materials. With some locations, you can even donate your kitchen prior to renovations: a crew will come and salvage the pre-renovation space! There are 10 locations in Alberta. 

Recycle My Electronics – An online database where you can enter your postal code and see all the e-waste recycling options in your area

Staples – Sells paper-wrapped toilet paper, and has drop bins to recycle old markers, pens, mechanical pencils, batteries, cell phones, printer ink and toner cartridges. 

Mountain Equipment Co-op – Not only does MEC publish an annual report on their carbon emissions, they also do a twice-annual waste audit of their store dumpsters to find ways to lessen their environmental impact. On top of it, their selection of reusable and eco-friendly gear knows no bounds! 

 

CALGARY 

FOOD

The Coup + Meet – Not only does this restaurant plant 36 trees per month to offset waste, they run on 100% wind power, recycle everything they can and use paper products that have limited packaging. 

924 17th Avenue SW, Calgary, AB

River Cafe – Plates food from its own edible garden or from local farmers. Uses a combination of wind electricity and green gas for 100% green energy, and also reduces waste by exclusively using 100% compostable materials and recycling/composting with a recycling pick up service.

 

Blush Lane Organic Market – Food that doesn’t sell is sent to local organizations so it’s not thrown out. Advocates for organic agriculture and powered by 100% renewable power, Blush Lane Organic Market was 2018’s Best Organic Grocery Store! Locations

Spud.ca – As an online delivery service, Spud.ca operates on a “fresh daily” basis, avoiding over-ordering for inventory’s sake. Goods are purchased from local producers, including imperfect vegetables, and brought to you in the most efficient routing possible. They’ll also ensure any packaging in your bin are recycled correctly: put packaging back in the re-usable bin your food comes in. 

 

Amaranth Foods – Serving up Kombucha on tap! Bring your own bottle and fill up, or you can buy a re-usable bottle there for future purchases. They also run a points program when you bring in reusable bags.

Planet Organic – Their meat, veggie and vegan Deli will happily put your purchases in the reusable containers you bring. Also specializes in natural foods and supplements, and runs regular events to learn about nutrition and healthy lifestyles.

 

CLOTHING

Women in Need Society – Revenues from WINS thrift stores are used to support the programs and services for Calgary women and families.  With a focus on capacity building and resource-sharing.

 

Clothing Bar Boutique – Looking to make some money off your favourite hand-me-downs? This is the place to do it! Donate quality and stylish items at the beginning of each season. At the end of the season, all items are donated to Women in Need Society.

Pro tip: Have you worn certain items beyond repair? The City of Calgary has clothing and textile recycling at all City landfills for everything from linens to undergarments to outerwear, where the items are re-assessed and donated or disposed of accordingly. Find out more here!

 

BEAUTY/HEALTH

The Apothecary – Known among zero wasters for “The Refillery” where you can replenish goods including salts, carrier oils, detergents, herbs, shampoos and deodorant. Also carries zero waste items for the household and personal items.

 

HOUSEHOLD GOODS

Re-Matt – Founded after realizing that there were very limited mattress disposal options in Alberta.  Re-Matt will dismantle a mattress/box spring and re-use approximately 95% of the materials.

3234 9th Street SE, Calgary, Alberta T2G 3C3

 

EDMONTON

FOOD

Earth’s General Store – Edmonton’s hub for zero wasters: refill station with almost 500 types of products, and a 5 cent credit for each re-usable container you bring in. Their blog has detailed information on what they carry in bulk, how refills work, and information on plastic free products are coming soon. 

9605 Whyte Ave NW, Edmonton, AB | T6C 0Z9

Blush Lane Organic Market – Food that doesn’t sell is sent to local organizations so it’s not thrown out. Advocates for organic agriculture and powered by 100% renewable power, Blush Lane Organic Market was 2018’s Best Organic Grocery Store! Locations

Spud.ca – As an online food delivery service, Spud.ca operates on a “fresh daily” basis, avoiding over-ordering for inventory’s sake. Goods are purchased from local producers and leftovers from markets, and brought to you via the most efficient routing possible.

Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton –  Aims to establish urban and local connections with food, working with volunteers to harvest, process and preserve local fruits. Book a rescue for your fruit bush/tree, or volunteer and learn, eat, preserve and enjoy!

ACME Meats – A truly neighbourhood butchershop that will happily package your meat in containers brought from home! Will do custom cutting and sources natural, free range and locally sourced meats.

Ritchie Market 9570 76 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6C 0K2

Italian Centre – Bring your re-usable containers to the deli counter to be tared, and enjoy world class Italian foods! Locations

 

Planet Organic – Their meat, veggie and vegan Deli will happily put your purchases in the reusable containers you bring. Also specializes in natural foods and supplements, and runs regular events to learn about nutrition and healthy lifestyles.

 

CLOTHING

Red Pony – Previously Robes and Relics, Red Pony has been in Edmonton for 15 years. A consignment store passionate about reducing textile waste, they also donate clothing that does not sell to local charitable organizations.

8530-109 Street, Edmonton, AB T6E 1Z5

Swish – A delightful vintage store for your eclectic self!

HOUSEHOLD GOODS

Two Mothers – A storefront that supports families, creating a space for kids to play and be fed, including a microwave and kettle. Children’s items like baby slings, cloth diapers, waste-free lunches and more are sold, emphasizing Canadian companies. Events and workshops are ongoing!

9553 76 Avenue NW

Edmonton, AB T6C 0K1

Treaty 6 Territory

 

Carbon Environmental Boutique – Refill your Sapadilla soap here! Also offers non-toxic items for the home, from household goods and kitchenware to painting and flooring.

Find. – Exactly where you will discover the pre-loved furnishings you were looking for, and where you can donate what can no longer make use of.  The Housing First program provides free furniture to people moving out of homelessness, and proceeds made in-store are re-invested into the community.

Antique Treasure House –No website, but pop in here and check out the vintage furniture, kitchenware, selection of clothes and who knows what else!

10701 85 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 2K9

 

LETHBRIDGE 

Purple Carrot Health Foods & Wellness – Covers all the bases! Has a refill station, kombucha on tap, natural body care items and bulk gluten free foods. 

1243 2nd Avenue South, Lethbridge, AB T1J0E5

 

Editor’s Note: Have we left anything out of our Zero Waste Shopping Guide: Alberta? Please let us know, share in the comments and let’s build this list together!

 

 

Zero Waste Shopping Guide Alberta

Libby Jeffrey

Libby Jeffrey writes from Winnipeg and delights in prairie skies, camping season and stories well told. Libby connects the dots between lifestyle, travel, and the environment in her writing with The Eco Hub and on her podcast, Travelling Minds.

10 Comments
  1. Wow. What a great resource you are providing. I really appreciate the shout out to our store (Earth’s General Store). We are trying and we are being embraced by the community. We have been offering refilling options since 1991 but only about 30-40 items back then. We have come a long way along the path.

    I just wanted to mention that we no longer do the 15% off sale day.

    Thanks and keep up the great work.

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