Friday was an exciting day, first of all it was International Women's day which I celebrated by eating a lot of cookies (food review coming soon) and watching some girl bands in rough trade (all documented on my instagram, which you should follow). But even more exciting than those two things were the fact that Nottingham's first permanent zero waste shop is finally here!

If you follow me on social media, or are a local, you may have seen that Nottingham Zero Waste Collective used to have a pop up in rough trade for a few months at a time, which was my wonderful first experience with zero waste shopping but was only open two days a week and for a few months at a time. But now Sarah has rebranded Nottingham ZWC  as Shop Zero Nottingham and we have a permanent store in malt cross! Very exciting stuff and a lot of people seemed to agree with me, judging by how busy the launch party was.

For those who aren't familiar with what a zero waste shop is, the idea is that you take no one use packaging, especially no plastic, home with you. All of the food items are in big jars or self service chutes which you use to fill your own containers, or in paper bags provided. There are also jars people have donated if you forget your own containers but don't want to use paper. You weigh your container, and then the food you're putting in it, and pay for your food by weight. This means that you don't have to worry about the needless waste you inevitably get shopping in supermarkets.

At the moment there's a pretty good selection of dry foods, with pasta, rice, lots of beans, nuts, and seeds as well as some dried fruit. Plus along with food items there are other products to help you live a zero waste life such as reusable coffee cups, bamboo toothbrushes, zero waste toothpaste, bars of soap, sponges, sanitary products and more!

Back in the pop up shop Sarah did manage to get some packaging free fresh veg so hopefully that will also feature sometime soon, I'll keep you updated. But I'm so happy to be able to get essentials without feeling guilty about the amount of plastic I keep throwing away! I can take my containers in and fill up on everything I need without wasting any packaging! A dream come true.
 And if you're wondering about price, I'd say it's pretty reasonable. Pasta is 50p per 100g, as are banana chips and sunflower seeds, to give you some idea. A lot of the stuff stocked is organic, so is a little more expensive, but it's definitely not ridiculous compared to your supermarket shop. The zero waste lifestyle products (aluminium straws, makeup wipes etc.) are as expensive as in any other place stocking zero waste items, they'll seem expensive to anyone who is used to buying one use items but you only have to buy these things once; or maybe once a year. Comparing an £8 set of 5 makeup wipes to the 50 pack of cotton ones for £2 you pick up on the regular may seem like a lot, but you'll keep washing them and they'll last a lot longer than the pack of throwaway ones. I see a lot of these things as an investment, both money wise and in the environment.
 The shop is definitely pretty small, any more than 5 people in here really does feel crowded! But I have hope it'll move to a bigger place soon, especially with how popular the launch was. I stayed for probably around half an hour, sitting next door in Malt Cross drinking the free wine on offer and the shop was so crowded you could barely move for the entire time I was there. So crowded that I got barely any pictures of the products in the store! So many people were coming and going, so I'm hoping this enthusiasm keeps its momentum and the stock range is expanded along with the store sometime soon. I even had friends on social media after the launch asking me about the place and saying they needed to pop along on their next day off so people are definitely happy it's here. Like me, I'm very happy.
 I'm so happy to see that zero waste living is gaining momentum, that there were people of all ages at the launch party filling up their containers, it gives me a lot of hope for the future even if this is just a tiny dent in the amount of waste some of the people of Nottingham are producing. A big reason why a lot of people aren't moving towards a more zero waste life is the accessibility so places like Zero Waste Nottingham, especially being in the city centre, really do give people an option they didn't have access to before.

The internet is a great place to go to buy lunch boxes, containers, water bottles, and so much more, but having access to it in person makes all the difference. And it's not really plausible to fill your own containers of rice in an online store.
So if you're in Nottingham head down to Malt Cross Thursday - Sunday to check out our new Zero Waste Store! Whether you're a complete newbie to the concept or someone who's already got zero waste living sussed. You can also follow Shop Zero on Instagram, twitter, and Facebook to keep up with them. I'm thinking of going back and doing a little video tour, talking about products they offer etc so let me know if you'd want to see that.

If you're not in Nottingham do you have a zero waste store in your area? Is it something you'd want? I'd love to hear about your experiences with zero waste, it's definitely not an easy one but it is becoming more widespread.