This summer Ottawa will be home to many celebrations – but one maybe less publicized event as compared to Canada’s 150th birthday, but no less important, is the opening of the city’s very first zero waste grocery store.
NU Grocery is setting up shop at 1140 Wellington Street in Ottawa’s Hintonburg neighbourhood. Set to open summer 2017, this revolutionary grocery store will surely become a go-to one-stop shop for all Ottawans looking to embrace the zero waste lifestyle.
The passion project of committed zero waster Valerie Leloup, the goal of NU is to offer a range of zero waste options accounting for almost every daily grocery need. NU will offer a whole host of products in a zero waste accessible manner including: produce, dry foods, liquid foods, dairy & eggs, baked goods & treats, containers & accessories, beauty & hygiene products and cleaning products.
How does NU manage to offer such a range of zero waste options? Diversity! While there might not be five different brands of rice to choose from, you are likely to find everything on your grocery list – without leaving the store.
The idea for NU Grocery was born out of Valerie’s transition to a zero waste lifestyle, as inspired by the book Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson. In the process of embracing zero waste living, Valerie found herself visiting 4 to 6 Ottawa food stores weekly in order to purchase all of her packaging-free groceries. Inspired by the success of zero waste grocery stores in Europe and similar initiatives in Montreal and Vancouver, Valerie saw the opportunity and the need for such a business in the Ottawa market.
How does it work? Taking us back to our high school chemistry days, all empty containers will be weighed and labelled – whether you bring them from home or borrow them from NU – at the start of your shopping so that you pay for your products tare deducted.
NU will offer all products packaging-free as well as primarily offering all-natural, organic and local products. The zero waste grocery store is to be commended for building social and environmental responsibility right into their business model. It is inspirational to watch companies take responsibility for their impact on the planet, whilst also creating opportunity for individuals to do the same.
Today NU operates an online store that sells a variety of zero waste lifestyle essentials including kitchen, cleaning and beauty & hygiene accessories. They specialize in minimal waste shipping, using only paper packaging that is 100% recyclable, so stock up on containers in preparation of their grand opening this summer!
I’ll see you there – glass jars in tow!
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