ZERO WASTE GROCERY GUIDE: CALIFORNIA

Where to shop for bulk, package-free, zero waste foods in California: a state-by-state grocery store guide | Litterless

Arcata

-North Coast Co-op: Fill jars or bags from home with dry pantry staples (like grains, beans, nuts, pasta, wheat free pasta, snacks, and sweet treats), as well as herbs, spices, tea, coffee, maple syrup, vinegar, and frozen fruit. You can also purchase bulk shampoo, conditioner, and soap. They also have a location in Eureka.

Berkeley

-Amphora Nueva: Fill and refill bottles with olive oils and balsamic vinegars.
-Berkeley Bowl: Purchase bulk pantry staples, herbs, spices, tea, kombucha on tap, and much more. You can also find beauty care goods like Dr. Bronner's liquid soap and Alba products in bulk.
-The Ecology Center: Sells lots of gear that's helpful for a zero waste lifestyle; think Bee's Wrap, Klean Kanteens, Weck jars, cotton sacks and bags, metal tins, and more.
-Fillgood.co: This delivery service will deliver their cleaning products and beauty products to your door in reusable packaging, then pick up the packaging for a refill when you're finished. Find out more about their delivery options here. (You can use the code "CeliaRistow" for $10 off your first purchase with Fillgood).
-The Gardener: Can find unpackaged bar soap, compostable dish brushes, and unpackaged Weck jars.
-Market Hall Foods: Here you can stock up on bulk, package-free pastas, grains, and beans of all shapes and sizes.
-Oaktown Spice Shop: At their Albany location near Berkeley, they have a huge selection of bulk herbs, spices, salts, loose leaf teas, and tinctures. Bring your own containers, which they'll weigh and fill.

Bay Area

-Alameda Natural Grocery: In Alameda, stop here for bulk dry goods like grains, beans, snacks, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, tea, coffee, kombucha on tap, and more. Plus, their produce is often sticker-less, and they won't print receipts unless you ask for one.
-Fillgood.co: This delivery service will deliver their cleaning products and beauty products to your door in reusable packaging, then pick up the packaging for a refill when you're finished. They currently operate in the East Bay, San Fransisco, and South Bay / Peninsula. Find out more about their delivery options here.
-Other Avenues Co-op: You can pick up bulk pantry staples, like beans, grains, nuts, snacks, and more.
-Rainbow Grocery: This spot has over 800 bulk food items - so, go crazy here! You can buy beans, whole grains, flour, sugar, other baking supplies, cereal, granola, olives, nuts, seeds, soup and baking mixes, olive oil and other types of oil, miso, chocolate, seaweed, nutella, tortilla chips, snacks, pretzels, trail mix, candy and vegan candy, vinegar, sweeteners like honey and agave, dried fruit, tons of different nut butters, fresh pasta, coffee, tea, herbs, spices, and more. You can also find home and personal care products like unpackaged bar soaps, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, liquid hand soap, lotion, aloe vera, Dr. Bronner's castile soap, and more. If you need something, you can probably find it here, so bring your jars and fill up! 
-Sprouts in Mountain View: Sells beans, granolas, oats, dried fruits, candy, snack foods like pretzels, and more in bulk, as well as a large selection of bulk coffee.
-Oakland and Berkeley folks, see the Oakland and Berkeley sections, respectively.

Culver City

-Co-Opportunity Natural Foods: Has a large bulk section, which offers the standard selection of grains, beans, nuts, seeds, granola, dried fruit, snacks, herbs, spices, and teas, as well as a few particularly exceptional offerings: nearly 30 different types of bulk coffee, machines for freshly ground almond, cashew, and peanut butters, and bulk liquids like honey, maple syrup, kombucha, and apple cider vinegar.

Davis

-Davis Food Co-op: Choose from a full selection of dry pantry staples (teas, herbs, grains, snacks, nuts, pasta, coffee, gluten-free substitutes, etc.), tamari, soy sauce, vanilla extract, seven types of vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, canola oil, and even bulk home brewing supplies! You can take a look at the full list here - and if you live nearby, color me jealous.

Grass Valley

-Briar Patch Co-op: You can fill your own containers with grains, beans, flours, snacks, cooking oils, and more.

Long Beach

-Bring Your Own Long Beach: At this spot, you can stock up on bulk home and beauty products, like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hand soap, body lotion, jojoba oil, Castile soap, baking soda, laundry detergent, dish soap, dishwasher detergent and more. They also sell zero waste goods for the home. Find them at a pop-up location or at their refill station.

Los Angeles

-Broome Street General Store: You can find nontoxic and refillable soaps and household cleaners made by Common Good and Co.
-Erewhon Natural Foods: At their locations, you can find a good selection of standard bulk foods like grains, beans, nuts, seeds, snacks, herbs, spices, teas, and more.
-Rainbow Acres: Bulk dry goods (pantry staples like beans, grains, nuts, and snacks), bulk liquids like soy sauce, and a big selection of herbs, spices, and teas. They also have bulk cleaning supplies like borax, beeswax, and soaps.
-Sprouts throughout the city: What you can purchase in bulk here varies by location, but options include grains, beans, nuts, seeds, granola, snacks, baking supplies, dried fruits, and more.
-Whole Foods: You may be able to bring your own containers, or otherwise they may allow you to rinse and reuse the plastic containers that they offer for purchasing bulk foods.
-For more options, like Co-Opportunity Natural Foods, see Santa Monica below.

Mill Valley

-Good Earth Natural Foods: Bulk dry goods (grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, baking supplies, snacks, granola, herbs, spices, tea), plus package-free soaps.

Nevada City

-S.O.A.P.: Stock up on bulk household cleaning supplies and personal hygiene supplies, such as laundry detergent and liquid soap. They'll let you fill your own container, or will even offer you a reused container of theirs if you forget yours. Check out the full list of what they offer on their website.

Oakland

-Fillgood.co: This delivery service will deliver their cleaning products and beauty products to your door in reusable packaging, then pick up the packaging for a refill when you're finished. Find out more about their delivery options here.
-The Food Mill: Bulk dry goods and standard pantry staples.
-Oaktown Spice Shop: They have a huge selection of bulk herbs, spices, salts, loose leaf teas, and tinctures. Bring your own containers, which they'll weigh and fill.
-Whole Foods Oakland: A great selection of bulk items (whole grains, flours, beans and lentils, nuts, seeds, cereal, granola, chocolate chips, snacks, dried fruit, freshly ground nut butter, Dr. Bronner's castile soap, coffee, tea, herbs, spices, and more), and store employees are more than happy to have you bring your own containers and reusable produce bags. You can weigh containers at the customer service desk, and you can also bring a container to the meat counter and they will weigh and fill it for you. They also offer a few other zero waste goods, like unpackaged candles, unpackaged bar soap, bulk bath salts, compost buckets, package-free jars, and more.
-For more zero waste ideas in Oakland, check out the Oakland city guide here.

Sacramento

-Refill Madness: You can find bulk home supplies, like laundry detergent, bleach, laundry whitener, dish detergent and soap, borax, baking soda, all purpose cleaner, glass cleaner, Dr. Bronner's castile soap and Sal Suds, pet shampoo, diffuser oils, unpackaged candles, and more, dryer balls, and more. They also sell bulk personal hygiene supplies, like sunscreen (!!!), body care oils (like apricot kernal, grapeseed, sweet almond oil, and more), lotion, hand soap, epsom salts, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, unpackaged bar soap, and more. You can find a full list of the products on offer here.
-Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op: Package-free beans, flours, grains, pasta, rice, peanut butter, sweeteners, granola, candy, snacks, nuts, herbs, spices, teas, and dried fruit. They also have a great selection of bulk liquids, including Bragg's amino acids, agave, tamari, canola and olive oil, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and filtered water on tap. For your home and body, you can purchase bulk shampoo, conditioner, dish soap, laundry detergent, castile soap, lotion, and face and body wash. You can see a more detailed list of products here.

San Diego

-Earthwell Refill: You can fill up on bulk cleaning supplies like dish soap and all-purpose cleaner, plus personal care products (shampoo and conditioner, lotion, shower gels, toothpaste, mouthwash, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, sunscreen) and DIY ingredients (like bentonite clay, white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and activated charcoal).
-Ocean Beach People's Food Market: Sells package-free grains, rice, beans, granola, nuts, sweet treats, pasta, maple syrup, local honey, shampoos and soaps, canola oil, olive oil, wheat-free tamari, whole bean coffee, freshly ground peanut and almond butters, and even vegetarian dog food and treats.

San Francisco

-See Bay Area, above!

San Juan Capistrano

-The Ecology Center: This non-profit center sells bulk laundry detergent, liquid cleaners, and bulk locally made extra virgin olive oil, in addition to other items for a zero waste home.

San Luis Obispo

-SLO Natural Foods: Organic and (partially) local package-free grains, baking supplies (flours, sugar, and other sweeteners), beans and legumes, granola, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, chocolate, tea, and coffee. You can also purchase liquids like local honey, maple syrup, freshly ground nut butters, locally made olive oil, and more.

Santa Cruz

-The Food Bin: Bulk herbs and seaweed, including nori sheets.
-New Leaf Community Markets: At their locations in and around Santa Cruz, they have organic beans, grains, flours, nuts, granola, locally made candies, dried fruit, protein powder, pasta, trail mix, sea vegetables, herbs and spices, organic fair trade whole coffee, and freshly ground nut butters. 
-Staff of Life: Bulk foods, including pretty much everything under the sun - the standard bulk dry goods you'd find anywhere, and also harder-to-find offerings like dry mixes (for things like falafel and chili), tortilla chips, sea vegetables, oils (sesame, olive, safflower, peanut, soy, corn, and canola), vinegars (like red wine, champagne, and organic apple cider), molasses, tahini, nut butter, and even pet food and dog biscuits! They source things locally when possible, which is great. If you'd like, you can see their full list of bulk products here. They also have an awesome bulk body and home care section, which offers shampoos, conditioners, lotions and creams, soap and castile soap, bentonite clay for face masks, and oils.
-The True Olive Connection: You can select many types of organic oils (olive, grapeseed, truffle, sesame, walnut, pumpkin seed, and more) and vinegars in bulk. They also have a location in Aptos!
-Way of Life: Bulk hygiene and beauty products, plus bulk herbs and teas.
-Wild Roots Market: At their many locations in and around Santa Cruz, they have organic beans, grains, flours, nuts, granola, locally made candies, dried fruit, protein powder, pasta, trail mix, sea vegetables, herbs and spices, organic fair trade whole coffee, and freshly ground nut butters. 

Santa Monica

-Co-Opportunity Natural Foods: Has a large dry bulk selection, including grains, nuts, beans, granola, snacks, and dried fruit; they love it when customers bring their own containers, so you'll be warmly welcomed!

Santa Rosa and Sebastopol

-Community Market: Their bulk foods department features flours, pasta, granola, nuts, candy, honey, tea, coffee, dog and cat food, cooking oils, dried fruit, herbs, and spices. At the Santa Rosa location, you can also purchase bulk personal care items like soaps and lotions, as well as home cleaning products.

Tahoe

-Grass Roots Natural Foods: You can purchase a large range of bulk dry goods, from nuts and seeds to whole grains to chocolate chips! They also offer kombucha on tap - bring your own bottles and fill up!

Ukiah

-Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op: Offers bulk beans, nuts, fair-trade organic coffee, and more.

Vacaville

-WinCo: Offers a large bulk selection of dry pantry staples, like grains, beans, nuts, seeds, snacks, and more.

Ventura

-The Refill Shoppe: Refillable and nontoxic body care and home care products, like shampoo, conditioner, lotion, hand soap, dish soap, and bulk laundry detergent - plus fun things like sugar scrubs and face masks! Take a look at their offerings here.

Victorville

-WinCo: Sells bulk pantry staples like grains, beans, nuts, spices, seeds, cereals, candy, dried fruit, granola, different types of flours, and dog and cat food.They sell a variety of such as avocado oil and nut butters, like almond, cashew, almond and peanut, and different types of liquid sweeteners, like agave and honey.

Statewide

-Honeymoon ice cream: Sold in mason jars at locations throughout the state. Bring home some, then reuse or gift the glass jars!
-Sprouts: A grocery chain whose locations offer bulk beans, grains, cereal, candy, snacks, granola, nuts, protein powder, dried fruit, and more.

Where to compost in California:

Find another state:

Visit the FAQ page or submit a tip of your own here.