It's (finally) here: the updated guide to where to shop for bulk foods and where to compost throughout the United States, with updates to the Canada sections coming next week. This is a project I've been slowly chipping away at for a long time. The old guides were helpful but tricky to navigate, and after asking for your feedback in a survey earlier this year, I spent a long time figuring out how I could improve them.
The new guides are organized by state rather than by region, making it quick and easy to zoom directly to the state of interest, whether you're searching for a resource near your home or near where you're headed on vacation. There are also more links throughout, to help make it easy to toggle between the Where to Shop / Where to Compost guides for a particular state, for example.
A few notes as you use the guides:
-These resources rely on the kindness of folks who are willing to write in and share their favorite spots. If there's nothing listed for your area, it's not that nothing exists or that your city doesn't warrant attention - it's that I don't have a specific knowledge of it, yet. I'm not, of course, omniscient. I live in Chicago and spend time in Indianapolis and Madison, too, and apart from those cities my knowledge of which zero waste resources are available can come only from Internet research and from readers here. When you do some exploring and find out more, please write me and I'll get your suggestions added.
-My hope is that the Where to Shop guide tells you which stores welcome containers brought from home with open arms. Large chain stores with bulk aisles like Whole Food, Winco, and Kroger tend to have container policies that vary from store to store and even from manager to manager. For that reason, I don't include those, as I want to make sure the only stores listed are places that you can bring your own containers with confidence. So if there's nothing listed for your area, it's always worthwhile to check with your local chains to see what their tolerance for BYOC (bring your own containers) is.
-I'll continue to update the guides weekly as I find more stores open, learn about new composting businesses, and receive tips and notes from you! Keep checking back and writing in to let me know what you find. I'm so grateful for everyone who has spent time to share their favorite resources with me in the hopes of making going zero waste for other people in their area just a little bit eaiser.