Less plastic, less trash, less waste in general. You might already have a pretty good idea of how to reduce a lot of unnecessary waste from your daily routine—as described in “Take home less plastic”—and how urgent it is for the planet that you start doing so. But are you aware to what extent it is possible for you to actually do such a thing? There are thousands of ways to write off waste almost completely from your life, many of which may have never even crossed your mind.
On this note, I present to you “Maria Granel”, much more than just a bulk store— a concept. And, in my opinion, the concept of the future (hopefully not a distant one).
-More than a store, a concept. More than a concept, a mission–
Maria Granel (granel stands for bulk in the Portuguese language), brought to life in November 2015, was the first organic Zero Waste store in Portugal. It was also one of the pioneers in Europe and the world when it comes to ruling out packaging and selling exclusively in bulk. Maria Granel was also the first store to introduce the BYOC (Bring Your Own Container) system in the national market—customers can (and should) bring their own bags and jars and serve themselves with whatever amount of product they wish to take home. By encouraging people to purchase only the amount they need, this concept aims to avoid food waste as well.
However, Maria Granel is no ordinary bulk shop. In addition to edible products, the store presents a wide range of Zero Waste home products, including bamboo/inox straws, bamboo toothbrushes, menstrual cups, crystal deodorant sticks, inox food containers, bamboo/inox water bottles, cotton grocery bags, bee’s wrap (an alternative to plastic wrap), and so on. Pretty much a complete Zero Waste catalogue for your house and life. Moreover, a section of detergents and beauty products in bulk will be soon available.
The store team also organizes free workshops and lectures twice a month, regarding a Zero Waste lifestyle, sells and promotes books dedicated to the theme, is actively involved in curricular school projects that aim to reduce plastic and waste within the school community, and participates in awareness-raising sessions, namely through conferences and informal conversations for schools and companies, so that people and institutions can rethink and improve their sustainability practices.
Maria Granel proves that it’s not that challenging to make a change for the better—education is the key to that exact change and everyday choices make a difference. Their mission is to take us back to a less consumerist past and inspire us to change the present in order to preserve our future.
It comes without saying that less really is more.
What is your opinion about this kind of stores? Would you be willing to adhere to this concept if a similar store opened near you?
Growing up surrounded by nature, Maria’s idea of a perfect scenario resumes itself to a green, sunny and quiet one. She loves to cook vegan food (and even more to eat it), long one-on-one chats, to swim in the ocean, live music, to play the ukulele and a good book.
Her life goal is to travel the world, saving wildlife species and habitats.
Latest posts by Maria Pereira (see all)
- WWF Launches Global Petition to “Stop Plastic Pollution” - March 15, 2019
- Haiti Creates First Private Nature Reserve to Protect Endangered Species - March 6, 2019
- The toilet paper that builds toilets - January 10, 2019