If you're interested in London grocery shopping recommendations from someone who has never lived there but who always pokes around for new zero waste finds while on vacation, this post is for you. (If not, it's probably not, wink wink!).
When we were in London earlier in April, we did a lot of non-zero-waste-specific things, of course. You don't need a cloth produce bag to lie on a bench in St. James Park and feel the sun on your face, and you don't need a reusable water bottle to walk on cobbled streets in the slight misting rain. But, of course, I wanted to visit a few of the zero waste spaces in the city, because I'm always interested in that kind of thing. As well you know.
In case it's helpful, today I'm sharing a few spots you might go yourself if you were on the hunt for bulk foods in London. These places also sell a small selection bulk snacks in addition to the more typical beans and oats that you typically see in bulk aisles, so they're good spots to keep in mind for visitors to the city, too.
Here's what I found:
Hetu: The photographs in this post are all from the gorgeous Hetu, a small zero waste shop in Clapham Junction (though they may move in the future, so stay tuned on their site for updates). Hetu sells package-free foods, cleaning supplies, and zero waste gear that you might need; you'll find lots of dry goods for cooking, dried fruits and vegan chocolates for snacking on, and reusable gear for your home and bathroom. One thing I especially loved: they had a small shelf of extra jars and containers that community members had donated from their own cabinets and pantries at home, which ensures that jars have a chance to get reused before being recycled. Such a thoughtful detail. (I borrowed one for filling with chocolate-covered ginger. Score.)
Unpackaged: I also visited two of the bulk aisles that Unpackaged maintains at Planet Organic grocery stores (you can find their locations here). These offered reusable cotton bulk bags for purchase and paper bags for those who arrive without a container brought from home. Expect to find mostly dry goods for cooking (like lentils and beans), but also some chocolates, nuts, and dried fruits. Unpackaged lists the products available at each site on their website, here, in case you'd like to check before you go.
The Source: Australia's favorite bulk foods grocery chain just opened their first location in the United Kingdom! I didn't have time to visit their Chiswick shop, but a friend told me it's a great spot for stocking up on bulk foods and other zero waste items. If you've been there, please leave a comment with how you liked it!
Bulk Market: I believe Bulk Market is currently between locations, but it's another completely package-free spot in London to keep your eye on.
Londoners, have other shopping suggestions for us? Your city has so much wonderful work happening in the waste space - I loved getting to sample a small portion of the good offerings during my trip.