LOCO Zero Waste: Bring Your Own Container

I've hung out in libraries, cafés, bars and parks, but my latest hangout is the Villeray LOCO, a zero waste green grocer. It sells a range of food, cleaning and personal care products, not to mention a range of products that can help you reduce future waste, like cloth shopping bags and cloth sandwich wraps for your kids' lunches. Half the fun is just looking at what they have and getting ideas for things you might want to make. My favourite is the health and beauty section because the sellers provide a list of ingredients.

I've given up on big name brands because of the chemicals manufacturers use. To see what I mean, check out my post on the Dirty Dozen in My Personal Care Products.>

When you walk in the store, you weigh the container you brought from home and record the weight on a tiny sticker and stick it to your container before filling it up. The weight of your container will be subtracted from the total weight at the cash so that you only pay for the actual weight of the product. This is particularly handy when refilling products like face cream. There are always a few grams of cream left in the bottom of the container that you have no way of retrieving. At Villeray LOCO, the weight of these few drops at the bottom will be counted in as part of weight of the container.

The other luxury of this store is that you can take just 100 grams of something to try it at home to see if you like it. I did this today with the store's peanut butter. This is a difficult household when it comes to peanut butter. We look for no sugar or palm oil added, which is not as easy to find as you might think.

Weight of my container: 73 grams
Overall, the face cream is a bargain, particularly given the quality. The peanut butter was more expensive. Even though the shampoo was slightly more expensive than a store-bought brand, we all feel better knowing that we won't be adding more empty plastic shampoo bottles to the landfill.

I walked past this store a number of times before walking in. I could never remember to bring my containers. Then I learned that customers leave behind clean containers on a shelf at the front. If hygiene of the latter is a concern to you, the store also sells fairly inexpensive containers. Now, I find myself there at least once a week. I have a friend who is sold on the environmentally friendly cleaning products in spite of them being more expensive. And we aren't alone. There is always a long line at the cash with a few kids asking their parents a lot of questions about zero waste.

Villeray LOCO
422 Jarry Est
Montréal, QC, H2P 1V3
(438) 386-7345


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