Zero Waste Shopping Guide: Manitoba

Manitoba, here’s a taste of some Zero Waste with a province-wide guide and a Winnipeg feature. Our series continues with our Zero Waste Shopping Guide: Manitoba. 

Zero Waste Manitoba

Remember: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot.  You don’t necessarily need to go shopping in order to become a Zero Waste adventurer; one of the best parts is figuring out what you can do with what you already have.

Refusing plastics and reducing my food waste has so far led me into a world of interesting conversations in line at the Polo Park Bulk Barn, well-drafted meal plans and a very tidy vegetable crisper.  Turns out, spending less energy managing garbage is actually enjoyable!

Fun fact: in 2007, Leaf Rapids was the first to pass a plastic bag ban in Manitoba, followed by  Snow Lake, Thompson and The Pas a few years later! The Thompson by-law has an interesting part indicating that “No retail business shall deny the use of any reusable container by a customer for the transport of purchased items”.  

PROVINCE WIDE

FOOD

Direct Farm Farmers Markets – Farmers Markets are a great way to source local foods in season, cutting down on food miles and packaging by bringing your own bags. Search by region for a farmers market near you.  

 

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. Go to the front counter to take your containers, then fill up. Click here to find locations in Brandon and Winnipeg.  

 

CLOTHING

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.

 

Related Post: Where To Find Zero Waste Supplies in Canada

 

BEAUTY/HEALTH

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

 

HOUSEHOLD GOODS

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. 

Sapadilla – A “nice little eco-cleaner” for your home! Sells dish soap, hand soap, all-purpose cleaners, laundry liquids and more.  

Habitat for Humanity ReStore – Each ReStore is different, selling used and surplus furnishings and building materials. The kitchen donation program originated with 5 dedicated Winnipeg volunteers. Locations in Winnipeg and Brandon.

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

 

WINNIPEG

FOOD

Vita Health – Health food store that offers biodegradable plastic and paper bags, and accepts home-brought containers for bulk items.  6 locations in Winnipeg

Acorn Cafe – Inside the same space as Generation Green (see household goods), so you can literally greet two birds with one smile! (“Kill with one stone” is a bit harsh since it’s a vegan cafe.) 25c off if you bring your own cup.

 

Compost Winnipeg – This is your chance to cut food waste for only $25 per month! Compost Winnipeg serves 7 nneighborhoodsin the city with compost pick up with reusable bins for your food waste.

Organic Planet – The only worker-owned organic vegan deli in Winnipeg. Encourages refills of Dr. Bronner’s soaps and Nature Clean products; BYO Container for bulk items.

Boon Burger – Plant-based and cruelty-free, this is more than a burger joint offering salads, ‘peace’-za and more are delicious, and the best part is that you won’t find a garbage bag anywhere. They’re serious about compost and recycling.

 

Related Post: Zero Waste Shopping Guide: Ontario

Nuburger – Delicious restaurant that reduces waste with its’ minimalist biodegradable and recyclable packaging.  Nuburger’s Manitoba-sourced burgers have caught on for their creative flavours and adaptability to vegan/gluten free/allergy diet. They now have 4 locations.

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Catering sized salads, heck yeah!

A post shared by Nuburger (@ilovenuburger) on

 

The Forks Market – Did you know that one of Winnipeg’s primary tourism attractions has a “Target Zero” goal? In addition to water and waste management, The Forks has replaced its’ HVAC system with geothermal and the zamboni that clears the winter river trail is fuelled by vegetable oils. Here’s hoping that The Commons will initiate a reusable plate system next!

Frescolio – An oil and vinegar shop that has a tasting bar. If that’s not enough to entice you, they sell in glass bottles that you can simply bring back and refill. Dark chocolate balsamic vinegar? Sign me up!

 

Related Post: Zero Waste Shopping Guide: British Columbia

 

BEAUTY

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. 35% of their products come single-use packaging-free.

Polo Park Shopping Centre, Winnipeg, MB R3G 0W4

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.

 

HOUSEHOLD GOODS

Generation Green – Carries refillable eco-friendly body and home products, as well as a plethora of zero waste goods.

The Old House Revival – Previous warehouse, then auction house which today has been renovated to sell salvaged items, antiques, lighting and hardware provided by over 30 vendors.

 

Mountain Equipment Co-op – Not only does MEC publish an annual report on their carbon emissions, but 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!  https://www.mec.ca/en/stores

 

CLOTHING

Closet Chick – A Portage Avenue mainstay with a wide variety of consignment items.

Vintage Glory – Wide selection of vintage items and clothes; also occasionally hosts open mic nights.

Ragpickers Anti-fashion Emporium – Instead of buying a single-use novelty item or costume, why not rent? The Ragpickers Warehouse is an experience in and of itself, presenting the opportunity for an eclectic mix of dress up, rare vintage and costume finds, and to meet the delightful owner and curator behind it all.

 

Zero Waste Manitoba

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.

4 Comments
  1. Thanks for these suggestions! I’d also add Bulk Barn to this list as they encourage customers to bring their own containers and offer a wide variety of products.
    Also, the bulk aisle or Sobeys and Superstore — I bring my own reusable produce bags if I’m buying something from those aisles thus avoiding any packaging.

  2. You can add The Yellow Deli on Des Meurons Street to this list. They have bulk food section of organic legumes and grains, where you can fill your own containers. And their prices are the best I’ve seen.

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