Our Story

Many years ago we were inspired by the story of Bea Johnson and her family of four’s mason jar of trash created over the course of a year. We began evaluating the way we were living and after a few months of slowly making changes to decrease our waste, we tried a waste challenge to see how little trash we could create over a 2 week period.  We collected all of the trash our family of 4 produced in a jar we kept out on our counter. This really helped us to visualize the waste we were creating and helped us to problem-solve ways we could avoid creating that same waste in the future. We did these challenges a couple of times and began setting up our lives in a way that supported this lifestyle, from simple things like bringing our own reusable coffee cups to the coffee shop, always keeping totes on hand, and shopping in bulk.  We eventually reached a place where we were able to pull off a very small amount of waste every week, but to be honest, it was really, really hard to get started.

Then we took a year to travel around the world with our two children. We were blown away by the amount of plastic pollution we saw almost everywhere we went.  Have you seen the Matrix? You know how they are all living in this weird alternate reality world they can’t see and then something happens and they can suddenly ‘see’ the matrix? That’s how plastic waste has been for us. We started to see it’s impact and now we can’t unsee it. Every day and every act carries the weight of plastic sitting in a landfill for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, or seeing it floating in our beautiful oceans in an enormous gyre we can’t even begin to fathom.  

The Zero Shop

Doing what we could to decrease our waste took on a new meaning.  We returned home with a renewed mission to try to fight this tide of single use plastic and waste that is washing over our society and our world. We think that it shouldn’t be as hard to set up your life to decrease your waste as it was for us, so we have created The Zero Shop to make it easier!  We want to provide as many resources as we can to help and inspire you to make whatever changes you can.


We know that there are many simple day-to-day choices you can make in the products you choose and that the impact of those choices have can create a much wider-reaching effect, depending on what it took to place that product before you. We also know that it is incredibly important to consider what will happen to that very same product at the end of its usefulness.  For this reason, we have chosen our products very selectively from companies that we feel are practicing ethically, sustainably and whom we believe are acting as a force for good. We have also considered the lifespan of each product we offer and ways to keep each one of them out of the landfill (or our oceans!) at the end of their lifespan.


We know that no one can be truly ‘Zero Waste’, but that the concept serves as an ideal we can all work towards.  We believe that we all benefit when we try to do our part and that even small changes can make a big impact.

You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving.
— Paul Kalanithi
 

 

Our Mission

The Zero Shop aims to serve as a resource for the building of more ethical and sustainable habits in our everyday lives.  We strive to create a positive impact on our community and beyond for the health and future of our planet.

The Zero Shop provides products to support a low waste lifestyle from companies that we feel are doing more to change the world.  We give consideration to the entire life cycle of each product we provide.

Our Values

Environment

We evaluate companies based on the products they produce, the packaging they use and the carbon footprint they create.

  • Circular Production

Our expectation for working with any business, is that they have placed value in creating a product that is not only durable and lasting, but have put systems in place for reuse, recycling, repurposing and avoiding the landfill at the end of that product’s life.  

  • Production Process

We look for products that use recycled, renewable, organic, sustainable, compostable materials.  We try to dig deeper in order to understand the amount of water, toxins, emissions and waste used in creating each product as best we can.  We may not be able to get all of the answers, but we hope that through asking these questions we can push for more transparency in the production processes.  

  • Packaging

We expect our shipments to arrive from our wholesalers plastic-free and deliver these items to you plastic-free.  

We do not work with companies who are unable to deliver on this promise.  

We ask that companies use recycled packaging whenever possible and only use recycled materials ourselves in our shipping and reuse packaging whenever possible.


Animals

We look for products that use no animal products or testing.  If we source any products with animal materials, they are made from upcycled or recycled materials that are keeping these products from ending up in our landfills.  

We will never purchase any beauty or cosmetic products that have been tested on animals.  


People


We do our best to dig into the work practices behind the production of the products we sell to avoid perpetuating a cycle of child labor, poor working conditions, and unfair wages.  This is no easy feat. As we continue to try to uncover more and more about the industries producing the products we sell, if at any point we learn of unsatisfactory conditions, we will no longer use that product or work with that company.  


Giving Back

We prioritize working with companies who are doing more to help our world, which is why we have given priority to working with Certified B Corporations and plan to become one ourselves.  

We look for companies that are giving back to their communities, the environment and fostering a sense of desire to do more than simply create a profit.

We too believe in giving back and have created a charity fund at the outset of the creation of The Zero Shop to start giving to organizations in our community and beyond who are working to improve the state of the world.  We too work within our community at every opportunity in order to educate and inspire others to make whatever changes they can for the world, whether it’s simply attending a beach clean-up or hosting a Repair Cafe. Check our Events page to see what we’re up to.  


We truly believe that #ouractionsmatter and have tried to embrace that in everything we do.