Our Story

Five years ago we started trying to cut down on our trash production after being inspired by the story of Bea Johnson and her family of four’s mason jar of trash created over the course of a year. After a few months of slowly making changes to decrease our waste, we tried a few waste challenges to see how little trash we could create over a 2 week period by collecting all of the trash our family of 4 produced into 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, always carrying totes and shopping in bulk, to bringing our own glass containers for cheeses and meats to the grocery store. We eventually reached a place where we were able to pull off a very small amount of waste every week (though nothing heroic), but to be honest, it was really, really hard to get started.

Then we took this past year to travel around the world.

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 that 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

We are returning home from our travels with a renewed mission to try to fight this tide of single use plastic and waste that is washing over 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 are creating The Zero Shop to make it easier!  We want to provide you with awesome products that will help you decrease the amount of waste you produce.  This will be products which we have carefully chosen for their purpose, quality, design, beauty and lifespan.  We want to provide you with resources to help and inspire you to make whatever changes you can.

In creating The Zero Shop, we know that there are many simple day-to-day choices you can make in the products you choose.  We feel that the impact of those choices can have a much wider-reaching effect depending on what it took for that product to be placed before you.  For this reason, we have chosen our products from companies that we feel are practicing ethically, sustainably, and with a larger mission to make the world a better place.

As we select our products, we are also considering the importance of what will happen to that product at the end of its life.  Our aim will be to keep every product we offer from ending up in the landfill (or our oceans!). 

We are excited to bring all of this to you by the end of 2018!

We know that no one can be truly ‘Zero Waste’, but we believe in the concept as an ideal we can all work towards, 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