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Zero-waste food shops in FLANDERS

Gent, Ghent, teambuilding, eco lifestyle, zero-waste, duurzaam leven, ecologisch

Since I started the search for a green lifestyle, I have had one big frustration: my garbage bin. One of the changes I would like to make in my lifestyle is to produce less waste, to reduce my ecological footprint. After analyzing what is actually in my garbage bin, I noticed that 90% is plastic wraps and packaging. As hard as I try to avoid plastic wraps and packaging, they always find their way to my bin. However, there are places that help to live a plastic-free life, and they are multiplying rapidly: Zero-waste shops!

A zero-waste shop aims to make shopping trash-free by offering as much as possible re-usable, organic and local everyday products. In this definition "trash" needs to be taken in its broad sense, as it includes anything harmful for the planet, such as CO2 emissions and toxic pesticides. Also, "trash-free" is an ideal state. It's the ultimate goal. With some products that are not liquid but solid, like fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts, it's easier to attain this goal. That's why most zero-waste shops have a packaging-free section, together with products that are packaged, with attention to sustainable materials.

Why avoid trash if we can recycle? Avoiding trash altogether helps to preserve natural resources, to reduce CO2 emissions, to reduce landfills, to encourage local production, and - don’t forget - by paying solely for the item, and not its packaging, we're saving money.

These shops promote a sustainable lifestyle, respecting nature and fair trade. We can usually find a broad range of products, like fruit and vegetables, bread, dairy, rice, pasta, drinks and cosmetics.

It's important to come prepared to a zero-waste shop. We will need our own shopping bags, smaller bags for small items and containers for liquids.

zero waste shop preparation, jars and bags, Miuxua

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What about price? When I go shopping, I consider four aspects before buying something: (1) quality (industrially-made or home-made), (2) production location (local or overseas), (3) preferably plastic-free, (4) lifetime (how long can I use it before discarding). I tested and compared a shopping trip to a the regular supermarket and to a zero-waste shop, click here to see the result.

To be honest, the advantage of a regular supermarket is that I can find all items in one place. However, I bring back a lot of plastic trash. With zero-waste shops, I can't always find everything I need at once. I have to do several shopping trips, but my ecological footprint is lower. I prefer to invest in the growth of zero-waste shops. What is worthwhile, takes some effort.. ;)

You can find more zero-waste and eco-friendly zero-waste shops in the Mixua online discovery guide.

Ohne, Gent, Ghent, zero waste shop, Miuxua

Ohne - "naturally unpackaged"

"Ohne" means "without" in German. This zero-waste shop follows three rules: minimization of packaging, short supply chain, and organic. Here we can find a broad range of everyday products, ranging from foods, to cleaning products and cosmetics. Ohne aims to become a center of Ghent-made products, so that we can consume as local as possible, at an honest price.

Steendam 59

Tarra verpakkingsvrij en zero-waste in dendermonde

Health food store in Dendermonde. We find here everything from natural food, which is often organic, to zero-waste toilet paper without plastic. Tarra offers a large packaging-free vegan range and also many gluten-low options. Tarra offers as many local products as possible. For example, there are Belgian syrups, bath bombs, biscuits, quinoa and lentils. You can combine your packaging-free shopping at Tarra with your order straight from the farmer at Buurderij Dendermonde.

Sint Gillislaan 5,


CRU, gent, Ghent, organic foods, zero waste shop, Miuxua
CRU, gent, ghent, organic foods, zero waste shop, Miuxua

CRU - "Discover. Taste. Experience."

Entering CRU on the escalator, going down into the unknown and seeing appear this huge market place in front of my eyes, was truly an experience. CRU gathers ten crafts under one roof, each its own specialty. Here we can find - among others - fresh fruits and vegetables in bulk, a dairy section, meat and fish, flowers and a big wine section. The origin of the foods is clearly stated. I was especially happy to see, with several items, information regarding the background story and methods of producers. Also, on regular basis workshops are being organized where we can directly get to know the producers.

Kouter 177

If you don't have any of these zero-waste shops close by, no need to panic! There are ways to buy more planet-friendly in a regular supermarket. Here I share with you my tips.

You can find more zero-waste and eco-friendly zero-waste shops in the Mixua online discovery guide. Or you can join one of our fun Eco Tours!

More inspiration and tips & tricks: Facebook Instagram

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